Mark Prince

  • Dirk Bell, Revelation Big Sun, 2009, sixty-four neon tubes, aluminum, steel, white paint, suitcase, circuit board, 31 1/2 x 31 1/2'.
    picks October 22, 2009

    Dirk Bell

    The Schinkel Pavillion is a large octagonal room, built in 1969 in the former East Berlin in a mixture of ornate classicism and Bauhaus-style modernism. In the past few years, it has hosted a series of exhibitions of contemporary sculpture. Its grandeur and specificity––high windows, wrought-iron railings and marble floors––make it a difficult space for art to inhabit: Art is always competing (at a disadvantage) with the dominance of the architecture.

    Dirk Bell brings to the occasion both an instinct for the dramatic gesture and a necessary passivity. He is primarily known as a painter who

  • Alistair Frost, BAR/Cheque 1, 2009, digital print on canvas, 31 1/2 x 24".
    picks April 20, 2009

    Alistair Frost

    In Saul Bellow’s novel More Die of Heartbreak (1987), a lovelorn botanist finds his troubled consciousness perfectly figured in a New Yorker cartoon by Charles Addams. Two morose-looking lovers are holding hands on a cemetery bench. The caption reads: “‘Are you unhappy, darling?’ ‘Oh yes, yes! Completely.’” The rapturous tones of love are comically transposed into the abjection of melancholy. One of Alistair Frost’s new paintings is titled Do you know those cartoons in the new yorker in which an oversophisticated erudite snot makes a wry observation, 2008; the painting, like the Addams cartoon,