Margaret Sundell

  • 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


    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