Michael Tarantino

  • Judith Barry

    “No one talks about those things beyond . . . beyond speech/those things beyond thinking and reason,/beyond writing and language.” These lines from a poem written by Judith Barry encapsulate her recent exhibition. In previous installations, Barry gave the spectator a pivotal role in determining the various parameters of the exhibition space. Whether Barry is investigating issues related to architecture, cinema, or gender politics, the most important element in her work is often space itself, which takes on both a visual and a verbal dimension: How, the work asks, does the viewer navigate

  • Marin Kasimir

    Marin Kasimir’s most recent public sculpture, La Place des Miroirs (The place of mirrors, 1994), is at once a summation of much of his work of the past ten years and a bold new development, recontextualizing familiar elements. Commissioned by the French Ministry of Culture as a project to be situated outside the new Town Hall in Issoudun, it succeeds where many works of public sculpture fail as it is perfectly integrated into its surroundings through its choice of materials and its invitation to the public to experience it physically. It also, however, questions some basic assumptions about

  • Muntadas

    In a darkened space, Muntadas’ newest installation, “ICI/MAINTENANT” (Here/now, 1994 ), forced its viewers into immediate, almost physical contact with a variety of elements. A group of ghostly covered objects, their forms and functions hidden, were scattered around the floor. An endlessly repeated sequence from a video of the Channel Tunnel after it had been excavated was projected against a wall, interspersed by a series of shots of lace-making machines. A number of slides, taken inside of Calais’ remaining lace factories, were projected throughout the space. Finally, there was the sound of

  • Mitja Tušek

    Mitja Tušek’s paintings are based on the principles of addition and multiplication, in which the final image is clearly both the result and the effacement of all of its constituent parts. Using beeswax that has been tinted with different pigments, Tušek constructs these works as a series of layers, each one covering and extending the previous one. In some cases, there are up to fifty layers on the canvas, producing an image in which depth and flatness seem to exist in equal parts.

    All of the paintings are stretched on wood and are shown without frames—an important point, since, examining the

  • Peter Greenaway

    “I have been interested in a certain melodramatic curve of flight through the air for a long time. It is the trajectory of a thrown stone. It follows the hump of a humpbacked whale from nose to tail. It’s bounded like a smooth, sheep-cropped, grassy hill.” In his introduction to the catalogue for “Le bruit des nuages” (Flying out of this world), Peter Greenaway goes on to explain the way he approached this project, which consisted of choosing a number of works from the drawings collection of the Louvre and exhibiting them in a way that mirrored the trajectory of the thrown stone. Like his films,

  • Michelangelo Pistoletto

    In 1961, two paintings by Michelangelo Pistoletto were entitled, Uomo di fronte—il presente (Man seen from the front—the present) and Uomo di schiena—il presente (Man seen from the back—the present). Both are self-portraits. In the former, the artist/subject is facing forward, toward the viewer/painter; in the latter, his back is turned to us. Both works are covered with a reflective, varnished surface, creating a field that seems to be in a state of flux. Description of the resultant images is difficult to fix. The works are, in effect, prototypes of mirrors. These two paintings, in which the

  • Hamish Fulton

    The work of Hamish Fulton always brings to mind measurement and description. His series of walks over the past twenty years have been textually and photographically documented in order to translate a physical, personal activity into an event, an activity that reverberates beyond the present moment.

    The oldest section of the Abbaye de Saint-Savin dates from the 9th century, although the site is particularly renowned for its extraordinary set of 11th-century murals, which trace a series of biblical events from the Creation to the Crucifixion. The Centre International d’Art Mural has undertaken a

  • Jardin-Théâtre Bestiarium

    “Psychomachy tells the story of a garden called Bestiarium—a garden facing both past and future, shining down on us as a golden age—a garden with lakes reflecting the sky, paths leading to exits, and glimpses of grottoes, forests and thickets. The Bestiarium is like a moving mirror that helps us experience the beauty of the garden itself,” states Rüdiger Schöttle in an excerpt from the catalogue, “Theatergarden/Bestiarium.”

    Jardin-Théâtre/Bestiarium” (Theatergarden/bestiarium, 1989–92) conceived by Rüdiger Schöttle and involving the collaboration of 14 artists (Bernard Bazile, Glenn Branca,

  • Jef Geys

    The first work that one saw on entering this exhibition was Bollen op wit schap (Balls on white shelves, 1963), which is exactly what its title describes. In its simplicity, its flexibility (the balls may be moved in any position and function as movable elements within a fixed frame of reference), and its matter-of-fact references to architecture, it was the perfect beginning for a consideration of Jef Geys’ activities of the past 30 years.

    This and almost all of the other works in the exhibition were surrounded by hundreds of black and white photographs referring to various objects, performances,

  • Mark Luyten

    In an essay published by the Douglas Hyde gallery in Dublin in 1985, Philippe-Andre Rihoux wrote, “To see the work of Mark Luyten is to explore the weavings and interactions of neutral planes, the interferences of literary and artistic categories. His work has its roots in literature, in a poetic substratum which provides both stability and stimulus for growth.” Over the past ten years, Luyten has consistently explored the area between categories like painting, photography, literature, landscape, and portraiture, and has fashioned a body of work that is intricately tied to the notion of this

  • Juan Muñoz

    Both illusion and allusion—in terms of scale, color, composition, and tone—seem central to the work of Juan Muñoz. This exhibition, which featured sculptures, installations, and drawings from 1984 to 1991, found the artist combining a series of references, approaches, and styles that have characterized his work for the past decade. As such, each piece could be approached as a unique object and as an integral part of the whole of the exhibition. Passing from one room to another inevitably put each work into a changing yet complementary context.

    Muñoz’s distinguishes between literature and story

  • Koen Theys

    The gallery was divided into three parts: on the left, high on the wall, hung a window made out of rubber latex, its sides curving out. In the center was a large sheet of glass, framed in black metal, whose lower half featured an engraving of a balcony. On the right were four photographs of an enormous crowd of people, with geometric forms painted over each image. These were the elements which comprised Koen Theys’ most recent exhibition. At first glance, the window might have seemed a bit too Goberish, the glass a bit too precious in its stabs at architecture, the photographs too influenced by

  • SVB VOCE

    SVB VOCE,” curated by Suzanne Mészöly, featured 16 installations by 18 Hungarian artists using video or related media. Yet I hesitate to refer to it as a show of video artists. The distinction is crucial to an understanding of what separates this particular exhibition from many of those of the last decade that (purposely or not) ghettoized the video artist. Would anyone organize an exhibition described as “18 Oil & Canvas Artists”? This exhibition does not entirely escape this trap; a number of installations seem to use video as an excuse. Yet the overall impression that one gets is that many

  • Joseph Kosuth

    In Charlotte Brontë’s novel, Shirley (1849), we read, “Order forbids details in a picture; she puts them tidily away, but details give charm.” I suspect that very few observers have used the term “charm” with regard to the work of Joseph Kosuth, but Brontë’s detailing of the antipathetic relationship between order and detail, between the general and the particular, seems appropriate as a means of approaching this artist’s continued attempt to strike a balance between language, pictorial effect, and the process of description. Ex Libris, J.F. Champollion (Figeac), 1991, commissioned by the French

  • Remy Zaugg

    Situated between an analysis of perception and painting, Rémy Zaugg’s series, A Sheet of Paper I & II, 1973–90, may be seen as an endless permutation of works, wherein each painting, each view, implies another.

    Zaugg refers to his five-year journal, Constitution of a Painting, 1963–66, as a “student work,” which took a reproduction of Paul Cézanne’s La maison du pendu (House of the hanged man, 1873), as a starting point. In this exhibition, we follow his progress as a painter, after he has assimilated the knowledge of Cézanne’s concept of figuration. Thus, we find a series of approaches to

  • Michel François

    Stretching from one end of the gallery to another is a series of objects. They include a gourdlike shape, covered in wax, with a figure of Saint Gregory emerging from the top; sponges; a tightly wound role of paper interspersed with black wax filling; a black hat, a balloon covered in white wax, a bicycle chain wrapped around a red form resembling the African continent, etc. Entitled Instruments de la passion (Instruments of passion, all works 1990), this collection of individual works, in which function, volume, and shape are turned inside out, reveals the sculptural strategies of Michel

  • La Captive du Désert

    A caravan passes in the desert. From its low, stationary angle, the camera records this procession of men and women, dressed in turbans, sandals, and robes. Some are wearing sneakers. Periodically, a camel passes by loaded down with materials. At the end of the group, a woman dressed in Western garb is followed by a man with a machine gun.

    This is the opening shot of Raymond Depardon’s La Captive du désert (The captive of the desert, 1990), a film inspired by the experience of a French schoolteacher who was taken hostage by guerrilla groups during the civil war in Chad. Although Depardon is known

  • Pedro Cabrita Reis

    Rainer W. Fassbinder once said that he hoped to “build a house with his films. . . . Some of them are the cellar, some are the walls and some are the windows. But I hope in time there will be a house.” This additive sense that gives so much meaning to his work also seems to operate in the case of Pedro Cabrita Reis, where each successive manifestation may be seen as both an autonomous work and as a part of a cumulative effect that is a result of previous pieces. Formally, these pieces are linked by the use of gesso, as well as by the recurrent repetition of the word “casa” (house) in the titles.

  • Matt Mullican

    In The Archaeology of Knowledge, Michel Foucault writes, “History now organizes the document, divides it up, distributes it, orders it, arranges it in levels, establishes it in series, distinguishes between what is relevant and what is not, discovers unities, describes relations.” In a sense, one can view Matt Mullican’s work in these terms, with his concept of the city taking the place of Foucault’s document. With his intricate, personalized system of signs and images drawn from the observable world, Mullican’s project seems infinite.

    When faced with the immense size of the Magasin, there has

  • Hermann Pitz

    In this show entitled Travaux récents (auto-portraits y compris) (Recent Works [including self-portraits]), Hermann Pitz has assembled a series of pieces that reveal his fascination with the way in which art can reflect various ways of seeing. Reflection is the operative concept animating Pitz’s work, given his particular emphasis on materials used to produce optical distortions.

    In Selbst (Self, 1990), a group of clear, glasslike resin forms displayed on the floor resemble teardrops or raindrops. Describing an earlier version of the piece, Pitz explains, “Since I was a child, I’ve thought of