Marcia Tucker

  • Marcia Tucker

    I had first seen Rosenquist’s work at Leo Castelli’s gallery in 1966 and thought that his huge works like F-111, with their unlikely juxtapositions of images, took a very different approach to painting. Then I started as associate curator at the Whitney sometime during the last months of 1968 and I was going to as many artists’ studios as possible. I could tell that something unusual was in the air, an eccentric view of what art might be. It’s important to remember that there was a huge amount of interest in phenomenology in the art world at that time. Everyone was reading Merleau-Ponty’s Signs


    “Words are the furniture of the mind.”

    Looking at Nancy Dwyer’s work is a bit like being Alice in Wonderland, precipitously shifting scale while sipping and munching from EAT ME/DRINK ME containers. There’s a curiously compounded sense of danger and fun in being simultaneously unsettled by their huge scale yet comforted by their familiarity.

    These refreshingly eccentric paintings and sculptures provide us with a very different kind of involvement with art, one predicated on pleasure and accessibility, on an easy negotiation between the domains of public and private, mind and body, “high” art and


    The method of our time is to use not a single model but multiple models for exploration—the technique of the suspended judgment is the discovery of the twentieth century as the technique of invention was the discovery of the nineteenth.

    —Marshall McLuhan

    THIS INFORMAL ICONOGRAPHIC SURVEY, begun several years ago, focuses primarily on American figurative painting from the late 1970s to the present. I have chosen to concentrate on the work that was the original impetus for this study and, with some exceptions, on artists who have been painting in a figurative mode for a considerable number of years.

  • Tattoo: the State of the Art

    THE PAST DECADE HAS WITNESSED a significant revival in the art of tattooing. Pictorial evidence of tattooing has been found dating prior to 8000 B.C., at the end of the Ice Age, and the first positive anthropological traces were found on the mummified skin of the Egyptian priestess of Hathor, c. 2000 B.C. It has been practiced among such diverse cultures as the Greeks, Incas, Mayans and Aztecs, the Japanese, the Polynesians and the Maoris, and even among early Jews and Christians. Tattooing has served various functions—decoration, tribal identification, indication of class status (ranging from

  • Terry Allen (on everything)

    Art is the shortest distance between two question marks.

    —Terry Allen

    TERRY ALLEN’S WORK IS CONSTANTLY in the process of redefining itself. Each piece, each part of the “whole,” continually creates new ideas and new pieces in which the contradictions of love and death, battle and embrace, lyricism and madness coexist. The work takes the form of drawings, prints, books, environments, objects, events, sculpture, texts, videotapes, film and songs. (He’s made two records to date, Juarez, 1975, and the double album Lubbock (on everything), 1978.) No sooner is one cycle of pieces done than an aspect

  • The Anatomy of a Stroke: Recent Paintings by Joan Snyder

    Modern painting, like modern thought generally, obliges us to admit a truth which does not resemble things, which is without any external model and without any predestined instruments of expression, and which is nevertheless truth.

    —Merleau-Ponty, Signs

    SEEING JOAN SNYDER’S PAINTINGS for the first time is like looking into a partially demolished building filled with the remnants and debris of its occupants’ lives; the initial experience is that of surprise, disorientation, curiosity. It is the paradox of an intimacy aggressively exposed. There is almost too much to look at at once", a shocking

  • PheNAUMANology

    Experience shows that human beings are not passive components in adaptive systems. Their responses commonly manifest themselves as acts of personal creation.

    —René Dubos, Man Adapting

    SINCE HIS FIRST PROVOCATIVE New York exhibition at the Castelli Gallery in 1968, Nauman’s work has become increasingly complex. We are no longer able to take refuge in art-historical analogies to Duchampian esthetics or reference to visual affinities with the work.of Johns, Oldenburg, or “process” art. Nauman’s roughly-built acoustical and performance corridors; his elusive camera/monitor pieces; his unenterable