Sherman Drexler

  • Joseph Cornell

    The Q44A bus goes past Utopia Parkway, Joseph Cornell’s old neighborhood. The houses are of a sameness: two-story domiciles of brick, separated from each other by a cement driveway or a sparse patch of grass. There is a small shopping area nearby, featuring a Kosher deli, cleaning store, pet shop, bakery, dance studio, dress shop, etc.; nothing resembling Utopia here. Cornell had to make his own Utopia, but why did he seal it in boxes—create his coffinlike, stop-action environments? Strange for a man who was claustrophobic! Strange that he was compelled to trap objects and memories in a place

  • Martin Ramirez

    Art pulled from the minds of the seriously disturbed, the retarded, the disjointed mute marauders of the unconscious, still has, in some cases, a delicacy and mythology that raises it above and beyond pathology. Van Gogh was an artist first, a madman second. Others are first mad; then, in order to help the doctors, they are given materials (as if they were children) in order to reveal themselves and at the same time to remain calm and tractable. Given this opportunity, the mentally ill person sometimes proves that he or she was an artist all along—but without port-folly-o. Yes, art is a folly

  • Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid

    Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid are really funny and really brave. They are smart as only middlemen can be. They play with notions of art and nationalism. They are comedians of an absurd situation: police-state citizens allowed to tune into news of the art world. The risk they take makes the really accomplished Gilbert & George look effete. These Russian artists, who work as one sensibility, maraud through art history inventing, parodying, and tipping over every icon, Eastern and Western, they can get their mitts on.

    They improve Pop art with their blowtorch burnt offerings. Indiana has never

  • Louise Nevelson

    Louise Nevelson does not preside over her Moon Gardens, she puts them in our way and leaves. We arrive in the dark, except for certain strategically placed spotlights, and expect to be invited in . . . but the Moon Garden is not open . . . it leans against the wall of night, all boxed in . . . no room for visitors . . . and it whispers flat, black promises that we believe.

    The work is monumental, composed of many compartments and shapes, given unity with a good paint job. The paint is black. When one steps back to see the whole thing at once, it is almost impossible: the eyes get caught in this

  • Joan Snyder

    Joan Snyder is a feminist artist; that is, she is trying to define her work within a boundary of female concerns. There are many others, among them Miriam Shapiro and Mary Beth Edelson, who do this: Mary Beth Edelson by examining the great goddess myths, cycle of life, etc., and Miriam Shapiro by using material on canvas as if it were some great abstract ceremonial robe. Ms. Snyder gets down to many of the physical aspects of a woman’s body, suggesting blood, female pods splitting open, seed, and sphincter. Her paintings are rich in pigment and consciousness: e.g. a wilted wedding bouquet that