Martha Fleming

  • “Kunstler aus Kanada”

    A show of East German paintings opened here just a few days before the Canadian installations. The museum is shaped a bit like a dumbbell, with a long corridor connecting two massive rooms, and a strange polarity was created by the two simultaneous exhibitions: between a lost national unity and a lost colony, East meets West. Curator Tilman Osterwold chose to hang the color-photo sequence Standing Up, by Canadians Karl Beveridge and Carole Conde, where the two shows met, in the lounge in the corridor; the piece is about the birth of a labor union in a small-town Ontario factory employing almost

  • Geneviève Cadieux, Landon Mackenzie and Lyne Lapointe

    In this exhibition, the evidence that Geneviève Cadieux, Landon Mackenzie, and Lyne Lapointe gave of the community in which they work and show was strong and comprehensive. The cultural specificity of Montreal—a city in relative isolation from the comparatively uniform sheen of what lies west of it in Canada—makes for heady fare.

    Of the series of “Illusions” that made up Cadieux’s show, Illusion No. 5 is the most successful. Each “Illusion” consists of a number of large Plexiglas sheets bearing life-size photographic images of a woman in a leotard. Their surfaces abraded and then treated with

  • John Scott

    In John Scott’s drawing, Invoking the Googol Plex, a diminutive stick figure half taunts, half dares himself to conceive of the metaphysical out of the mathematical by multiplying a googol by itself. (When Kurt Gödel asked a young child what he would call a number just slightly below the infinite, the child replied, “A googol.”) All of Scott’s miraculous drawings have a similar “what if . . .” quality about them that reminds us of that childhood moment when some geography teacher said the universe has no end.

    They’re really awe-inspired drawings, full, of a boyish apprehension of fact. The

  • Gerry Schum

    In 1969, Gerry Schum, the German video and broadcast pioneer, presented over Berlin television a video program entitled “In Land Art,” which he had made with Marinus Boezem, Jan Dibbets, Barry Flanagan, Richard Long, Walter De Maria, Dennis Oppenheim, Robert Smithson and Michael Heizer. The following year, Schum broadcast “Identifications,” another co-production he had made with Joseph Beuys, Daniel Buren, Gilbert and George and Mario Merz among others. These two programs comprise the bulk of Schum’s retrospective, which was organized by Dori ne Mignot of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.


  • Mark Gomes

    Mark Gomes’ show is comprised of two large works connected in theme. Untitled is an 8-foot high, roofless passageway made of wire-mesh fencing. Its door is a mass of twigs encased in the same fencing, and framed with untreated lathing. The piece is like the skeleton of the walls of a passageway, a pared-down hallway missing its plaster clothing.

    The Narrows is also a passageway of sorts—two “parenthetical” fences, placed back to back, form a funnel. In the middle, a large oxidized-steel box suspended between the two fences rotates on a central axis and blocks normal passage. One side of this box

  • Robert Bowers

    Viewing Station, the oldest sculpture in Robert Bowers’ recent show, was built a little over a year ago. Constructed to look like the public-service boxes of rock salt which dot Toronto in the winter, Viewing Station was meant to be placed in Clarence Square Park for a few months. Square and green, the box has translucent plexiglass apertures along one side, and a clear plexiglass hole in the top. Inside is a tableau of a room.

    This piece embodies concerns which are presented more succinctly in other pieces in the show. In all of these works, paradoxes of shelter and utility are created in order

  • David Clarkson

    Much of David Clarkson’s predominantly photographic work has reconstructive overtones. He starts by taking a number of photographs of a building’s facade. Calling these photos “glances,” Clarkson tries to make the camera look as cursorily and intently as the eye would, resting for split seconds on individual features of the facade. He then reconstructs the complete facade as closely as possible from the photographs. The viewer’s natural reaction is to attempt to reconcile the individual images into one focused image. But when this is done, the viewer ceases to be aware of each individual photograph

  • Colin Campbell, “Peripheral Blur”

    Much as video artists have come to accept over the past few years their work’s implicit reference to television, performance artists are beginning to examine their medium’s relation to theater. In light of this, it is significant that a well-established video artist recently presented his first performance in the context of a theater workshop.

    COLIN CAMPBELL, whose videotapes were included in this year’s Canadian representation at the Venice Biennale, has been working with video for ten years. In the past, his work has been labelled as divergently as “strictly narrative” and “post-conceptual