Linda Yablonsky

  • Alphonse Borysewicz

    Maybe it’s the hovering rash of dark spots on the quartet he calls Hunting the Queen, or the image of a chalky, primitive hive at the bottom tier of For an Unknown Church, or the migrating scatter of drably pigmented, insectlike marks swirling around Black Mulch/Swarm, but Alphonse Borysewicz’s recent abstractions (all works 1993) produce a sweetly, transcendental buzz.

    Borysewicz does have a history of devotional art-making. He gave up seminary studies some years ago to find sanctuary in abstraction, occasionally delving into overtly religious constructions, later spending time in Japan before

  • Dona Nelson

    Dona Nelson’s recent show of anxious, cloth-sculpted and poured-enamel abstractions was as dislocating as it was inviting. Subterranean moods bubbled up through loosely strung muslin forms, dividing and multiplying acrylic surfaces in dramatic sweeps of dead-black and green or blinding-white enamel. As the title of one piece, Greedy Winter, 1993, might suggest, Nelson’s paintings threaten to swallow themselves along with the viewer’s eye. Their odd compositions make havoc of natural order in a disjunctive combination of art and artisanship, undermining the works’ meditative beauty with anarchistic

  • Linda Stojak

    For her second solo show, Linda Stojak relied heavily on the redoubtable image of the crucifix to embody a haunted and private martyrology. At a distance, her somber, dangling, androgynous torsos, bobbing “heads,” and helpless limbs look as if they were burned into their scuffed, bone-colored grounds with a brand just beginning to cool; up close, they communicate an arresting sense-memory of a deep personal loss that just won’t let go.

    Stojak channels this melancholia into a blessedly simple, if not entirely welcome, cathartic ritual of repetition. Her waxy layered surfaces, some with small

  • Caio Fonseca

    Caio Fonseca’s semaphoric abstractions, collectively entitled “Tenth Street Paintings,” 1992–93, perform a skittering dance across waxy canvas skins, weighing surface against rhythm. As venerable in appearance as works by the masters of European Modernism, they look as if they had been made in the Picabian machine age, rather than produced by an American now in his early thirties. Fonseca possesses an authoritative visual vocabulary of buoyant geometrical forms, but his resolutely formal manipulations keep them tightly reined and break little new pictorial ground. Nonetheless, he constructs

  • Steve Gianakos

    Executed in a plain black and white printers’ palette and attended by formal geometric accents, Steve Gianakos’ recent works on paper remind me of the naughty cocktail napkins my parents’ friends used to bring us as novelty gifts in the ’50s. Despite the ambiguity of the content of these works, it’s easy to appreciate the artful collage of images that look as if they were cut from draw-me ads, paint-by-number paintings, and Playboy-type drawings, and then Xeroxed and enlarged—and to marvel at how cleverly these fragments have been put together.

    Though Gianakos’ formula cockeyed Picasso heads,

  • Robert Colescott

    With the skill of a political cartoonist, Robert Colescott draws some fine, funky lines around what lust and laughter, anger and envy bring to mixed-race relations. It might be said, in fact, that he introduces a thinking man’s perspicuity into activist art. Barely contained by their organization on the canvas, his carnival-flavored narratives can still make wholly original, often maddening cases for tolerance. Disenfranchised populations face down the oppressive forces inhabiting the art world, the “free” world, and the dimensions of their own despair.

    Though his barbs generally seem to be more

  • Mary Klein

    Mary Klein’s performance Blue Tongues, 1993, was a wry, Hollywood-fashion-show parody of patriarchal power. A coolly errant sister whose unassuming appearance and pleasant demeanor belie her ability to catch a few philosophers of femininity with their proverbial pants down, Klein set about undressing figures ranging from Freud to Lacan to Krafft-Ebing and even Jesse Helms, rebuking their authority on “normal” female behaviors by revealing it to be as artificial as polyester. Slides detailing images of women from canonical paintings were projected past Klein’s contorted figure on a gauzy scrim,

  • Frank Moore

    In his soulfully surreal narratives, Frank Moore weaves together a series of allegorical images that resonate with the shattering reality of AIDS. Nowhere else has the medical profession’s estrangement from the healing arts been more vividly depicted; aside from the late David Wojnarowicz, no artist has come closer to capturing the indignation, and extreme tenderness, provoked by the drama of this disease.

    In one detailed, fastidiously plotted painting after another, Moore simultaneously instructs and bedevils the viewer, rendering intimate the numbing losses known to both AIDS sufferers and

  • Philip Pearlstein

    For the last 30 years Philip Pearlstein has, somewhat unfashionably, insisted on painting nudes from live models. But by stalking his subjects from skewed, ever-shifting angles—crucial body parts (a foot, a shoulder, a head) frequently slip off the frame or disappear entirely behind the scene-stealing props—he lends his workboth the spontaneity of a snapshot and the wholly contemporary coolness associated with formal or compositional values.

    Pearlstein forces his nudes to vie for space with toys, pieces of furniture, and folk art that not only outnumber or outsize the figures but often appear

  • David Bowes

    To visit David Bowes’ plein air visions was to catch pictorial history on the wing: to see life and art from an ever shifting array of vantage points. The clarity of focus of Bowes’ most arresting image—a moonfaced, nearly life-sized female figure in a capuchin gliding through a Venetian piazza—balanced the tumbling blur of light, air, and color that overwhelmed some of the other works. Though he brought an energy, a subtlety, and, most of all, a sense of joy to the sweeping double-sided triptych Greetings from Blue City, New Model Sculpture Screen, 1992, and to the equally vibrant Midsummer

  • Kenny Scharf

    The introduction of a crusade for a clean environment into Kenny Scharf’s work, though not insincere, apparently did not raise his consciousness to the point that he actually was able to relinquish his own use of toxic chemicals. In his most recent show, pulled together just before he abandoned his New York studio for fresh digs in Miami, Scharf seemed anxious to prove he had moved from being carnival master of the art world to occupying an eco-activist seat in the arena of international politics.

    Indeed, one has to question whether the nearly 100 works on view added up to a sign of abundant