Margaret Sundell

  • David Deutsch

    David Deutsch made his mark in the early ’80s as a painter of contemporary pastorals. In these delicately rendered arcadias, he included objects like radio towers and satellite dishes—signs of modern telecommunications that served as subtle reminders of our post-Edenic state. About a decade later, he began to base his landscapes on photographs taken from airplanes. The addition of aerial perspective introduced a new level of complexity into Deutsch’s nature/culture debate: The intrusion of technology was no longer just the subject of his art but had become one of its structuring principles.

    In

  • Slater Bradley

    The centerpiece of Slater Bradley’s second solo show in New York was a trio of short videos simultaneously projected on three walls of Team’s front room. The Laurel Tree (Beach), 2000, features actress Chloë Sevigny standing on an empty stretch of sand solemnly intoning a passage from Thomas Mann’s Tonio Kröger. The text—a lofty meditation on the sanctity of art and the sins of dilettantism—recounts a professional writer’s profound embarrassment during a lieutenant’s impromptu poetry recital at a dinner party. In Female Gargoyle, 2000, Mann’s army officer—the average man who rises

  • Meyer Vaisman

    READING THE ART CRITICISM that accompanied Meyer Vaisman's late-'80s rise from East Village scenester to neo-geo celebrity, you can't help but notice how certain adjectives keep cropping up: cynical, calculated, and above all, slick. I'd happily wager that not one of these words occurs to viewers of Barbara Fischer/Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, 2000. Pathetic, maybe, or perhaps even grotesque—but definitely not slick.

    The star of Barbara Fischer/Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy is Barbara Fischer herself, or rather a life-size fiberglass cast of her naked body. Fischer, who happens to

  • Louise Lawler

    With Something About Time and Space But I’m Not Sure What It Is, 1998, Conceptual photographer Louise Lawler deftly resolves the dilemma that confronts every artist at midcareer: how to build on past successes without simply repeating them. This oddly titled installation, the centerpiece of her latest solo show, both rhymes perfectly with her earlier work and takes off in a new direction.

    Since the early ’80s, Lawler has focused her camera on well-known works of modern and contemporary art. But unlike the photographers employed by auction houses and museums to document their holdings, Lawler

  • Andreas Gursky

    The discourse around Andreas Gursky tends to get trapped in an outdated modernist impulse to define a medium by its physical properties. Because his monumental color photographs are digitally manipulated, they must be not photographs but “photographic paintings.” But it might be more useful to consider Gursky’s work in terms of effect rather than category.

    Gursky’s latest offering featured his signature panoramic vistas of the weirdly spectacular yet antiseptic public spaces of late capitalism: discount superstores, cavernous hotel lobbies, stock-market trading floors. Also on display were three

  • Uta Barth

    Walter Benjamin described aura–that intangible quality that distinguishes an object from its photographic reproduction–as the effect of a thing’s “unique existence.” According to Benjamin, not only do photographs lack their own aura, they destroy the ones objects possess by supplanting a singular presence with a potentially infinite number of copies. But ironically, because what it captures is less the object per se than the unrepeatable instant when the object stood in front of the camera’s lens, photography heightens our awareness of the very uniqueness it simultaneously undermines. The medium

  • James Angus

    Given the thorough interrogation of sculpture already achieved by post-Minimalism and Conceptual art, choosing to dismantle this particular artistic category might seem a bit like beating a long-dead horse. While James Angus’s second one-man show indeed restages the medium’s unraveling, it does so however from a new direction—by intersecting sculpture with a related (although ultimately distinct) form of object production, the architectural model.

    Two pieces in the show, Neuschwansteins, 1998, and Falkensteins, 1999—miniature wooden replicas of castles designed for Prince Ludwig II of Bavaria—are

  • Patty Chang

    Since graduating from the University of California at San Diego in 1994, Patty Chang has been a regular on New York’s performance circuit, plying her distinctive brand of ’60s-style body art meets ’90s riot-grrrl feminism in such venues as P.S. 122 and the Clit Club and garnering particular praise for Alter Ergo, first seen in Exit Art’s 1997 showcase of emerging performance artists, “Terra Bomba.”

    Chang revived Alter Ergo in this debut solo show, which, along with videotapes and large-scale color photographs, included a series of live performances held in the gallery’s back room. Recalling Chris

  • Elaine Reichak

    When is the ideological subtext of the modernist white cube most clearly revealed? According to When This You See. . . ,1996–99, Elaine Reichek’s installation in the Museum of Modern Art project room, when it is carpeted and painted green, trimmed with molding and picture rails, and filled with the samplers the artist has been sewing since 1996.

    In such humorous juxtapositions as a needleworked version of Jasper Johns’s 1958 White Numbers and a replica of a nineteenth-century sampler used to teach multiplication tables, Reichek jokingly alludes to the formal affinities between modernist painting

  • Thomas Demand

    Viewers introduced to the work of German artist Thomas Demand in 1997 through his first American exhibition at Max Protetch may be taken aback by the formalism of his latest large-scale color photographs. Recalling Walter Benjamin’s characterization of Atget’s Parisian views as “the scenes of crimes” recently committed, Demand’s earlier images showed places that, while empty of people, were filled with signs of human life. Some were even crime scenes of a sort: the home of serial murderer Jeffrey Dahmer, the personal archives of Nazi filmmaker and propagandist Leni Riefenstahl, the dorm room

  • OPENINGS: LIISA ROBERTS

    TITLES ARE A TRICKY business. No matter how imprecise, the name you give a thing tends to stick. Perhaps no young artist understands this better than Liisa Roberts. But rather than resign herself to the failure of words to adequately describe their objects, Roberts has made it the basis of her work, almost as if to spite language for being such a shoddy tool to begin with. Take, for example, her 9 Minutes of Form: A Sculpture by Liisa Roberts and 3 Minutes of Desire, a pair of 16-mm films from 1993 to which Roberts attached the surprising label of “sculpture.”

    By detaching the name sculpture from