Susan Heinemann

  • Michelle Stuart

    Is it that as the end of the art season approaches, I become more and more jaded? Art and more art. And I find myself tiredly, haphazardly niching works into categories. Excitement lost. This is not so much a criticism of the particular artists I happen to be reviewing, but more a feeling growing about the art scene in general. Is there nothing which startles, disorients, blocks the accustomed analysis, requesting another language, a different approach? Is it all the same? A rehashing of established art “problems”? But perhaps there are clues, here and there. Times when the usual vocabulary no

  • Pat Steir

    In a way, Pat Steir’s paintings focus attention on the readiness with which one classifies pictorial meaning. As I’ve indicated before (Artforum, December, 1974), her works provoke questions, reflections on one’s assumptions of intended significance. Looking at Song. A penciled grid dividing the canvas into 16ths, stanzas of the whole. One’s eye jumping from square to square, top to bottom, side to side. In the center three lines of color—red, yellow, blue. Drawn around this a circle, partly painted out. At the edges, in the corners: A a red rose shape thinly painted over in white, a thicker

  • Michael Malloy

    Another clue found in Michael Molloy’s Shelves. For it’s difficult to pinpoint why these works fascinate me. Ostensibly they’re shelves. each containing a group of collaged objects with an accompanying text. A set of instructions, imperatives, dictating how to manipulate these things and what to expect. But here there’s a disjunction. Perhaps fantasy is the word I want. The objects seem familiar—everyday utensils: a tea strainer, a lock, a flower pot bowl, photographs. And the language prescribes known hand actions—placing, grasping, touching. Yet the projected results, although stipulated

  • Beryl Korot

    In describing Beryl Korot’s videotape Dachau, I could concentrate on the elaborate structuring of the piece. Four monitors flicking on and off, changing vistas at different intervals. The threads of a tapestry, weaving the fabric of narration. In fact, several diagrams hung on the walls illustrate this intertwining of relationships. But somehow that seems unimportant, an addendum (conceptual justification maybe?). Watching the tapes what comes across is a sense of endless time, repetition and sameness punctuated by the blinking on and off of the image. A kind of relentless rhythm which complements

  • Hank Stromberg

    Trying to pinpoint when it is that a gimmick takes over. Hank Stromberg’s earlier photographic work includes such iconoclastic gestures as leaving a trail of photographic cockroaches behind on a tour of the White House or posting Mr. Subways contest announcements on the trains, much to the MTA’s consternation. In his current show the gesture is subdued. A View of My Grandmother’s Place. Cutout black-and-white photos of the objects which adorn the walls of a home cluster on the gallery walls. The pots and pans, the worn utensils of a kitchen, a housecoat, an apron, an old-fashioned radio. One

  • Carol Kinne

    I’m not sure how I feel about Carol Kinne’s paintings. Bob’s Double Decker Yellow Draw most definitively indicates the use of a system. A grid and divisions of its sections are drawn on a yellow ground. In each section an area is filled in in one of four hues—the fifth, a bright orange, appears as the wild card. For, as the title suggests, Kinne “draws” cards, number and suit ostensibly determining the shape and color of the filled-in areas. The exact rules of this process are unclear, but they don’t seem important. What stands out is the use of a method which circumvents esthetic choices of

  • Diane Karol

    A related question arises with Diane Karol’s work. Is this a symptom of my jadedness? I’m tempted to describe Karol’s pieces as three-dimensional landscape paintings. Flying over Grass consists of tubes covered in stained fabric and suspended in an irregular arc from the ceiling. Below on the floor stand similar cylinders, varying in height, again wrapped with stained fabric. The colors are mainly yellow to green, arguing for the landscape reference. And I can’t get away from the sense of a pictorial notion transferred into space. As if placement in three dimensions were a guarantee of renewed

  • Robert Barry

    Ironically this review of Robert Barry's slide piece relies on description. The attempt to represent, to categorize a work which itself reflects on that process of structuring information. For Magnificent—Trees revolves around the use of language, whether through words or pictures. Language serving to define a reality, to clarify and encode it; language extending one's perception, expanding it through thinking, evoking a conception of nature; and yet language remaining imprecise, tangent to experience. But to begin with the setting for these speculations. A darkened room. Seated enclosed within

  • Vito Acconci

    Leveling is the title of Vito Acconci's piece. Leveling with the viewer, being honest, telling it straight. Equalizing viewer and artist, putting them on common ground. But also aiming, directing. Different levels of meaning, intention, interpretation, as all of these definitions apply. The theme an exposition in public of private space. A dramatization of self to which one might refer Erving Goffman's concept of presentation through roles. For although Acconci is not physically present in his piece, he is still the performer. A tape of his voice resonates from the various speakers in the gallery,

  • Marisol

    In a sense Marisol resembles Acconci in her exposure of private secrets in public. But her revelation-exploration of self centers around a more traditional notion of personal fantasy rooted in the Surrealist world of dream imagery and symbolic content. She is less the performer, more the shaman. Her ceramic masks, for example, are less those of persona, more archetypal emblems, ceremonial faces for a mysterious female rite. Ear Earrings. Flesh-colored clay baked into the oval of a gazing visage. The earlobes hanging like jewelry from the sides. And stringing, weighted below, a necklace, two

  • Judy Rifka

    What is striking about Judy Rifka's paintings is their appearance as collages. Collages of paint. The surfaces are plywood, assertively there. Attached (to, on)—layers of paint building into a tangible thickness. The pigment doubling, crisscrossing on top of itself into an envelope of color. A material shape appended, as if glued, on the surface. In the series of matte black paintings, for example, two separate pieces seem to overlap, one superimposed on the other, their edges intersecting to outline a single form. Yet throughout the black is the same color. It is the drawing of the paint, the

  • Alighiero Boetti

    Alighiero Boetti's work leaves me puzzled. Is he deliberately mocking the notion of art as a solution to a problem? Is his use of a series taken through various permutations an indictment of the repetition of art production, varying the terms without changing the theme? Or, is he questioning judgments of quality, of one answer being more valid than another? His drawings are all on graph paper—as if to emphasize their grounding in mathematical truth. One group involves the filling in of a set number of consecutive squares, the set number of times, each pattern being different. Seven sevens, nine