Miriam Rosen

  • Présence Panchounette

    After twenty-plus years of thumbing its collective nose at French art and society, Presence Panchounette, the Bordeaux-based group of artist-provocateurs made up of one former-boxer-turned-pedicurist (Frédéric Roux), one former-auto-racer-turned-secondhand-furniture-dealer (Michael Ferrière), and one still-working journalist at Radio Montecarlo (Jean-Yves Gros), has come up with the ultimate insult: the decision to disband. In a word, they say, the contemporary scene is boring, and even if the rest of their generation has been comfortably co-opted, they have no desire to join the institutional

  • Daniel Spoerri

    Some people collect art (or stamps or coins); others just collect. Daniel Spoerri is decidedly in the second category. As this retrospective demonstrated, he has been collecting everything from eyeglasses, vegetable peelers, and shoe trees, to artificial limbs, animal horns, and the worktables of his artist friends for at least the past 30 years. Unlike the rest of us, Spoerri has not simply filled his closets with the flotsam and jetsam of daily life. Nor, in most instances, has he opted for the artistic alternatives of estheticizing or appropriating it; rather, to use his own term, he has “

  • William Klein

    Like memory, travel, or speaking a foreign language, black and white photographs impose a certain ironic distance on experience. In the work of William Klein, this inherent irony assumes the weight of style. During the mid ’50s Klein led a singular assault on the etiquette of street photography; armed with a wide-angle lens and an open flash, he produced a book of crowded, grainy, shifting, and/or distorted images of New York City, published under the uncommon title, Life is Good and Good for You in New York: Trance Witness Revels, 1956. The occasion was Klein’s first (and clearly combative)


    AS THE SELF-PORTRAIT-CUM-AUTOBIOGRAPHY hung smack at the entrance to his recent Paris show announced, Samba Wa Mbimba N’Zinga Nurimasi Mdombasi, known as Chéri Samba, is a 33-year-old self-taught artist from southern Zaire. In two columns of green and pink type that frame his beaming face and its blue-sky background, the artist tells us that he is the son of a blacksmith, that he dropped out of school at the age of 16 for lack of money, and that he made his way to the capital city of Kinshasa to become an apprentice sign painter. Three years later he opened his own workshop, and before long,

  • Richard Texier

    Art, commerce, collectibles, silicon chips, and the bicentennial of the French Revolution: there could hardly be a better recipe for disaster than the makings of Richard Texier’s La petite suite des Droits de l’Homme (The little human rights suite, 1989). And yet, as Galileo once said, it moves. The piece is a limited edition of seven prints, issued by L’Avant-Musée to commemorate the French declaration of human rights of August 1789. The images themselves are derived from an equal number of monumental tapestries that Texier was commissioned to design earlier in the year. But this little version

  • Ben

    Ben’s “Thirteen Sculptures” show included some 50 paintings, readymades, assemblages, toys, machines, and other gadgets meant not only to be looked at, read, and listened to, but also written on, pushed, pulled, pedaled, and eaten. The resulting ambiance was somewhere between garage sale and day-care center, and it is worth noting that, in addition to the regular gallery-goers, there was a steady stream of toddlers-to-teens, and no one looked bored. Worth noting, too, that Ben ( né Vautier) began his career as the proprietor of a second-hand-store-cum-gallery in the late ’50s; that for more than

  • Taduesz Kantor

    Tasdeusz Kantor, a prolific figure in the world of Polish theater, brought to Paris a quartet of plays, a mini-exhibit of posters and videos, a symposium, and two public discussions, as well as an installation of his paintings, drawings, and objects at the Galerie de France. Kantor, now 74 years old, started out as a painting student at the Cracow Fine Arts Academy in the mid ’30s. He formed a clandestine theater company during the war, and worked as a professional set designer for some 15 years, yet he continued his involvement with painting. In 1955, the same year that he founded the Cricot