Mason Klein

  • Oliver Herring

    The shimmer of Oliver Herring’s signature knitted-Mylar sculptures made over the past decade reflects the influence of Ethyl Eichelberger, the performance artist and transvestite whose career (abruptly ended by his AIDS-related suicide in 1991) inspired Herring to rethink his approach to materials. In a recent interview he observed, “[What] went to the heart of what Ethyl Eichelberger had done . . . [was] making meaningful situations happen through very, very mundane means.”

    For the last ten years Herring has been coming up with new ways to do just that. In Raft, 1994, for instance, in which

  • Peter Liversidge

    In his first one-person show in New York, British artist Peter Liversidge reproduces internationally known signifiers like the logos of Lufthansa and BMW with a childlike clumsiness that strips all slickness from the corporate icons. He makes no bones about his limited skill as a draftsman: In a 1999 catalogue for a show at A22 Gallery in London, the artist complained, “I really am trying. . . but I just can't paint these products the way the manufacturers would like too see them.”

    Yet perfection is scarcely the objective. Unlike, say, Warhol's uncanny realistic appropriations, which glorified

  • Mark Bradford

    Mark Bradford, an artist who works as a hairstylist in South-Central Los Angeles, displays a deceptively austere sensibility in the modular veils of subtly graded hues that ripple over the surfaces of his latest paintings. But the purity of the abstract modernist references radiating from these restive, cellular grids quickly assumes a funky liveliness far removed from the transcendental silence and order of, say, the work of Agnes Martin, to which they are often compared. A close look reveals that Bradford’s shimmering, variegated forms are composed of overlapping squares of cellophane and

  • Jim Shaw

    HAPPILY FOR HORROR VACUISTS, Jim Shaw's recycling of cultural detritus continues unabated. For six years his increasingly less nocturnal “Dream Project” has functioned as a reservoir of flotsam and jetsam drawn from surrealist installation, comic books, photorealist painting, commercial illustration, and everything in between, as filtered through his unconscious mind. He's not offering an archaeology of trash culture; viewers are meant not to classify but merely to ponder the existence of these images—the tweaked cliché, the stylized art object, the dispossessed icon, the reconstituted

  • Leon Golub / Nancy Spero

    FOR OVER FOUR DECADES, Leon Golub and Nancy Spero have been exploring the social and political hotbed of gender. Masculinist and feminist, respectively, they address issues of power and the violent and subjugating impulses that underlie and propagate sociocultural archetypes. Golub and Spero increasingly show together, and, not surprisingly, their complement is often fascinating. These vintage warriors of social conscience and gender have been married for nearly fifty years and have established a kind of oppositional harmony, as their recent show's title, “The Fighting Is a Dance, Too,” suggests.

  • Hamish Fulton

    Emerson wrote, “The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough.” Indeed, after thirty years of trekking, Hamish Fulton has not tired of either his signature ritual of walking or the horizons that this practice yields. Nor has the perambulating Conceptualist strayed from his artistic roots, continuing to annotate his activity through text and photograph, as firmly as ever testing the limits of both to convey, as he puts it, “the experience of the walk.”

    Fulton’s most recent show, “Walking is the Constant, the Art Medium is the Variable,”

  • Donald Lipski

    Donald Lipski has steadfastly bucked the waves of Conceptualism that have refueled sculpture during the last two decades. Apart from grouping his idiosyncratic renderings according to the most general object- or process-related axes, the latter-day surrealist has rejected metaphorical reference in his work as a rule—content rather to recast the quotidian, finding the sublime in the transformation and permutation itself, not in an altered object’s meaning. Yet over the last ten years Lipski’s work has gradually begun to explore themes, synthesizing in the process the poetic and unfamiliar

  • Radcliffe Bailey

    There is a polyphonic aspect to Radcliffe Bailey’s work that results at least in part from the role of music in his life. I felt this effect immediately on encountering his latest series of painted wood panels (each almost seven feet square), whose design and excess of information endow the visual with the spatial and environmental qualities of music. “What I do may not even be called art,” Bailey once remarked. “It may be called music.” The sheer exuberance of his patternswebbed tendrils of paint overlying patchworks of rectilinear shapes only furthers such an analogy. A certain structure

  • Alvin Booth

    Swathed in latex or bound and laced in modish leather garments designed by the photographer himself, the gilt figures that populate Alvin Booth’s photographs are distinctly contemporary. Flexing in various positions, these glistening bodies coated with metallic oils and gold powder clearly reflect present-day obsessions with the body, style, and fashion. As if to underscore this fact, many of these untitled eroticized images are mounted on the wall in a gridded format that expands on the variegated and voyeuristic aspects of the fashion photographer’s contact sheet. But such commonplace fixations

  • Norman Lewis

    Although Norman Lewis (1909–79) was a first-generation Abstract Expressionist, his contribution to the New York School has largely been forgotten. His recent rediscovery, however, has begun to rectify this state of affairs and to reveal how the African-American artist forged a unique path within a normatively white movement. This modest show of sixteen works on paper from 1945 to 1975, entitled “Intuitive Markings,” could only hint at Lewis’s stylistic range, but it nevertheless confirmed that his artistic preoccupations reflected an abiding need to represent the African-American experience as

  • Klaus Hartmann

    Near the entrance to Klaus Hartmann’s first solo New York exhibition was a large digital print of a somewhat desolate barnlike structure out of which grew a narrow, three-story square tower topped by a small observation deck. With its surreal appendage, oversize doors, and stucco-covered brick facade, the building appears to be some bizarre yet strangely familiar modern architectural hybrid. (In fact, the edifice is an old firehouse in East Germany.) This blend of the alienating with the nostalgic was a perfect introduction to Hartmann’s show, which brought together a peculiar range of aesthetics

  • Patrick Faigenbaum

    In recent years, Patrick Faigenbaum’s photographs have begun to undergo subtle if perceptible changes. Their severity has softened, as the imposing architectural settings of his dour portraits of the Italian aristocracy have yielded to the real world and its inhabitants, to the outdoors and to light. In this exhibition of recent photographs, taken mostly in St. Raphaël, a seaside town in the south of France, and in Bremen, Germany, over the last two years, Faigenbaum continues his work as a portraitist, but focuses instead on less formal subjects.

    If the artist has eschewed the world of an