Richard Flood

  • Jonathan Borofsky

    In 1927, referring to Proust’s then uncompleted Remembrance of Things Past, E.M. Forster commented: “The book is chaotic, ill-constructed, it has and will have no external shape; and yet it hangs together because it is stitched internally, because it contains rhythms.” The same might be said of JONATHAN BOROFSKY’s recent installation which, although wildly eclectic in its components, and intentionally unruly in its execution, has an emotional coherence and an intellectual vigor reinforced by the repetitive and emphatic properties of rhythm.

    Borofsky is both cursed and blessed by facility; he

  • Anne Sperry

    One of the installations at Wards Island this summer was ANNE SPERRY’s raggedy row of steel flowers aimed like gooseneck lamps at the East River. The flowers were reminiscent of the cute, literal, unusable playground sculpture that tired landscape architects select from mail-order catalogues. The work contradicted its pastoral, water-oriented setting, becoming an exercise in the kind of lawn decoration that cries out for aquamarine-painted tire planters filled with geraniums.

    Reduced in scale, varied in composition, and removed to a gallery setting, Sperry’s sculpture gains some authority. It is

  • Iowa Theatre Lab

    Romanticizing vampires is tricky business. Their mindless drive for survival is about as sophisticated as Benchley’s “eating machine” in Jaws. Only the inverted priggishness of Victorian literature managed to twist the vampire into a romantic metaphor. As advanced by writers like Stoker and Le Fanu, the vampire became an oddly sympathetic anti-hero. Its primordial awfulness was overhauled to read like an existential dilemma in a laissez-faire world. In Maturin’s Melmoth, an enlightened monster says: “The terror that I inspired I at last began to feel. I began to believe myself—I know not what,

  • Horst

    Horst’s 50 years of celebrity photographs form a Byzantine menagerie of cafe society’s ornamental ascendency. His sitters all languish in poses of narcissistic catalepsy. Their only substance comes from the patterns of light which Horst manipulates with the dexterity of a couturier draping fabric. Aleister Crowley might have been commenting on one of Horst’s photographs of Marlene Dietrich or Wallace Simpson when, describing the heroine of Moonchild, he wrote : “ . . . she absorbed his devotion with a lazy hunger, like a sponge. For her activity and resistance had been reduced to zero; she

  • Paul Thek

    Paul Thek has always been a culturally responsive artist. His The Tomb—Death of a Hippie, 1967, was a sculptural roman à clef which summed up and buried the era which, for all its countercultural frisson, was more accurately characterized by Altamont than Woodstock. Thek’s narrative-realist stance—with its autobiographical content, architectural context, and ritual implications—also proved a significant compass reading for ’70s art. Following Death of a Hippie (the “Hippie” was, incidentally, a wax cast of Thek), the artist exiled himself to Europe where he began making transient assemblage

  • Michael Olszewski

    The feminist art dialogue of the ’70s freed a lot of media long damned as “craftsy.” By nurturing the use of traditional craft techniques and materials in the creation of (anti/non-functional) art, it also started breaking down the dialectically exclusive definitions of art and craft. Looking at Michael Olszewski’s “fabric constructions” (his term), I am reminded of an exchange between Lucy Lippard and Joan Snyder (taped in ’73, printed in Ms. in ’75). Responding to Lippard’s question as to how Snyder can “tell women’s art from men’s art,” Snyder answers: “It has to do with a kind of softness,

  • Greg Weaver

    As a genre, “bad painting” received its first institutional validation when, in 1978, Marcia Tucker defined and installed it at The New Museum. That it remains pretty much a late ’70s footnote has as much to do with its ironic appellation as its punch-drunk parameters. Bad painting is, according to Tucker, “figurative work that defies, either deliberately or by virtue of disinterest, the classic canons of good taste, draftsmanship, acceptable source material, rendering, or illusionistic representation.” It sprang from a roughed-up Pop tradition and the giddy heritage of Expressionist painting.

  • “Material Pleasures”

    The Fabric Workshop has, since it began two years ago, invited over forty artists from across the country to experiment with fabric silkscreening. Work produced during 17 of those residencies was the subject of ICA’s “Material Pleasures” exhibition. In many ways, the Fabric Workshop is set up along the utopian lines initiated by Ruskin and Morris during the arts and crafts movement of the late 19th century and, while it lacks the socialist fervor of that movement, it is similarly concerned with the elevation of taste in consumer commodities. As described in the “Material Pleasures” catalogue,

  • “Summer at the Morris Gallery”

    The five artists selected for the Academy’s neutrally titled “Summer at the Morris Gallery” exhibition have little more in common than the fact that they all, in one way or another, are exploring aspects of relief sculpture. Two, SID SACHS and BRUCE POLLOCK, ambled off the wall and down onto the floor with freestanding sculpture. WILLIAM WALTON and JOHN FERRIS appeared quite content to remain firmly on the wall. And MAURIE KERRIGAN clambered all over the place with an adventuresome sensibility that encompassed both three-dimensional and relief sculpture.

    Sid Sachs relies on a simple visual