Patricia C. Phillips

  • Jane Rosen

    Under the title “Better Nature,” Jane Rosen assembled an intriguing set of sculptures. Even when visible characteristics differed, a transcendent “genetic” bond was apparent. Rosen’s work is influenced by the forms perceived in those moments prior to complete recognition—what is seen before pattern, color, and shape indicate some figure or formation—which serves to engage viewers in negotiating the relationship between perception and cognition.

    These strangely crafted pieces examine the relationship between the natural, the found, and the fashioned. Rosen frequently revisits the horse’s head,

  • Anotonio Martorell

    Deftly negotiating Puerto Rican cultural traditions, ambitious political issues, literary references, and personal experiences, Antonio Martorell examined how the textures of regional conditions and individual expectations construct our notion of “home.” His eclectic, often personal installations were scattered through the rooms of the museum in a circuitous path of mystery and revelation.

    Educated in graphic design, printmaking, and performance, Martorell uses an alchemic mix of these traditions in his work. At first some of the pieces seemed overly dependent on particular incidents in the

  • “Fragile Ecologies”

    “Fragile Ecologies: Contemporary Artists’ Interpretations and Solutions,” a traveling exhibition, takes a broad look at activist, environmentally oriented art, placing it within its historical and cultural context. The projects of various artists in diverse environments and situations is a central theme of the show, but “Fragile Ecologies” is also concerned with contemporary artists as agents of change. Frequently the work assembled here to represent artists’ recuperative engagement with sites and communities is slight. The ideas are challenging—even abundant—but the images are eviscerated.

  • Maria Nordman

    Since 1967 Maria Nordman has only rarely presented her work in a gallery setting. Usually installed in outdoor, urban spaces, it frequently examines the relationship between subjective perception and architecture as a cultural production. Using common objects, reflected light, and the play of interior and exterior space, her work seeks to reveal the essential components of urban structures. In her recent show, she manipulated both scale and materials, pushing at the constraints of construction to raise questions about the spaces we live in. By underlining the fundamental elements of architecture,

  • Michelle Stuart

    The recent proliferation of didactic art about the environment provides a fascinating context for a reassessment of Michelle Stuart’s active meditations on landscape. Entitled “The Elements: 1973–79,” Stuart’s recent show enabled us to reconsider this artist’s early work and its agile negotiation between the timeless and the temporal. Stu-art’s work reflects her focused, prolonged visits to particular environments, and upon reconsideration it reveals a depth often lacking in much ecologically oriented contemporary art.

    Her preoccupation with landscape stems not only from a sensitivity to the


    Homely Girl, A Life, by Louise Bourgeois and Arthur Miller. New York: Peter Blum Editions. Two volumes, each 36 pp. 3 editions, regular $100, signed $275, special $2,000. Available by special order only from Peter Blum Editions, 14 W. 10th Street, NY, NY 10011.

    Reading this curious two-volume collaboration between two of America’s most celebrated creators is like retracing your steps along a garden path after night has fallen. The first volume contains Miller’s longish short story about an unpretty woman, Janice, who marries twice: once to a downtown socialist who never really notices her, later

  • Mark West

    The Storefront for Art and Architecture invites artists and architects to consider installations that use the interior as well as the exterior space, encouraging them to exhibit investigative work. This past summer, architect Mark West became an unofficial artist-in-residence in order to construct the first exhibition of the fall season. West’s installation Pressure Buildings and Blackouts, 1992, centered on the relationship between technology and the conceptualization of a work. In this instance, his productions concerned new structural and representational methods: what at first seemed like

  • Beverly Semmes

    Introducing a mutant version of women’s fashion, the “clothes” in Beverly Semmes installation questioned the conventions that have determined the production of women’s clothing and thus the presentation of their bodies. By exaggerating the size and distorting the shapes of female apparel, Semmes surreally reconfigured the normative distinction between the body of the subject and the clothing that both masks and represents it. These sculptures did not merely figure an absent body, they forced us to examine how our perception of it is constructed.

    Tucked away in a closet, Sliced Dress (all works

  • Erika Rothenberg

    “You’re a liar, a manipulator, a phoney and an adulterer! Maybe you should run for president!” With a wry eye for the interplay between art and advertising, commerce and culture, Erika Rothenberg turned MoMA’s “Projects” space (conveniently located next to the Museum’s bookstore) into an auxiliary shop, mirroring the public, commercial, and exhibition components of the Museum itself.

    Rothenberg’s installation, House of Cards, 1992, made painfully direct sociopolitical and cultural observations by mimicking the format, cadence, and sentimentality of contemporary greeting-cards. As with much of

  • “On Hold”

    The “Young Architects Forum,” an annual juried exhibition of the work of recent architecture program graduates, purports to present the new, creative participants in the field of architecture, one characterized by glacial innovation. This year’s program featured the double-edged title “On Hold,” exhibiting both constructed projects and theoretical proposals. Taken positively, it might suggest a time of reevaluation, an opening to diverse practices and theories. More grimly, it speaks of a moment when architectural practice is stalled by a depleted economy. Sadly, many architects are “on hold”

  • Ursula von Rydingsvard

    Ursula von Rydingsvard employs a consciously limited range of materials and techniques, working in cedar delivered to her studio in four-by-four-inch lengths. These milled modules are cut, gouged, and laminated together to form large elements that resemble walls, sheer cliffs, vessels, landscapes, simple dwellings, and tools. In spite of great fidelity to material and methodology, the significance of the work extends well beyond the refinements and curiosities of process to its revelatory potential. The arduous assembly and the al- most ungainly size of each sculpture evoke ideas that only emerge

  • James Keyden Cathcart, Frank Fantauzzi, Terrence Van Elslander

    Which of the many ordeals and indignities suffered by the homeless is the most corrosive to the human spirit? Pleading for money or a meal, changing clothes on the sidewalk under an old blanket, finding a place to sleep on a bitter winter night, or stalking a quiet corner in which to relieve themselves? As one of the few art outposts in New York dedicated to esthetic assaults on urban problems, Storefront for Art & Architecture aims for results.

    In a recent collaborative effort entitled “Unprojected Habit,” 1992, architects James Keyden Cathcart, Frank Fantauzzi, and Terrence Van Elslander claimed