Susan Heinemann

  • John Walker

    Trying to understand my expectations of art. Anticipation before going to see John Walker’s “Projects.” I remember being impressed by his chalk drawings shown about two years ago in London. Yes, there is another in his current exhibit. A blackboard painted on the wall and dusted with white chalk which accumulates in varying densities on the surface. The image a negative, hieroglyphic in design, presumably created by pulling off tape to trace lines in the original surface after the chalk has settled. The lines look definitive, bold in their straight-edged blackness against the powdery haze of

  • Jared Bark

    Questions that keep recurring. Jared Bark’s work is also marked by his technique. His medium: photobooth strips mounted one next to the other to form an image narrated in frames. Order inherent in the simple repetition of equal rectangles which snap after snap imply their sequence in time. Yet paradoxically when used directly as the familiar photo-booth in which one sits and has one’s photo taken, the device seems less obtrusive, or rather more a tool for exploration. To be specific. In a group of nine pieces California North to South, Bark lines up strips of faces, each group having been taken

  • Jim Alinder

    Again technique predominates in Jim Alinder’s photographs. Alinder uses a special camera to capture a panoramic view rushing into a curve of perspective on either side of the focal point. Perhaps because this device is repeated in every photograph it begins to lose its impact. However, often the subject matter does coincide with the distortion of the lens. The photos monumentalize commercial landmarks which pockmark the U.S. The gigantic “Modess . . . because” sign which zooms along the New Jersey Turnpike. Santa and his reindeer riding above an endless supermarket display of packaged frozen

  • Doris Ulmann

    In contrast, it is the people who become the icons in Doris Ulmann’s platinum prints and gravures. Her main subjects are poor Southerners. She presents the time-worn faces of Appalachian craftsmen and women, the simple dignity of the blacks of the Gullah region of South Carolina. Reading Gene Thornton’s review in the Sunday Times I thought again about the soft-focus pictorialism of these images. Does it matter that these photos were taken in the late ’20s and early ’30s, at a time when the modernist impulse was toward a sharp-focus on straight reality? True, a few of Ulmann’s shots look

  • Meryl Vladimer and Ted Stamm

    Meryl Vladimer. A different kind of portraiture. Traces of presence. The masks and props of actors who have disappeared. On the wall a series of plaster-cast faces progressing from the lobe of an ear to a full profile in the center and back again on the other side. Recollection of a videotape, the head slowly turning to recognition and away. But here the action is frozen, splayed out into a. frieze, the relic of a performance. Another remnant on the floor. Chalk outlines of a figure measuring the room in body lengths. Defining a space in terms of body scale? Yet at the end a frontal face mask,

  • Joyce Kozloff

    Looking at Joyce Kozloff’s paintings. Searching for a way into painting. Night Stars. A crisscross of strips, changing their patterning, as they lay over and under each other to jumble the surface in a myriad of directions. The areas in between darker, receding behind, filled with a variety of texture designs. The whole a chaos of configurations which one groups and regroups. Eyes following the lines to articulate a shape only to find themselves jumping to another and another through an endless flux of possibilities. Again in Carousel, attempting to trace one line as it zigzags across the surface.

  • John Okulick

    Traditionally I tend to think of painting in terms of illusionism. In this sense, John Okulick’s wall constructions serve as a pun on painting’s two-dimensionality. To take an example. Hercules Bound to Fail (the titles are puns as well). Here the edges of a diamond donut are drawn in receding perspective by slats of wood tilted into the wall. A golden fleece fiber is sandwiched between the inner and outer edges which are bound together with rope. The image looks like a piece of sculpture flattened into a Ron Davis shaped canvas which, conversely, through its illusionism implies three-dimensionality.

  • Thomas Bang

    But, maybe, is there a game to art? A playing with materials as well as the viewer? Thomas Bang, for instance, seems to toy with dualities—in or out, empty or filled, fragment or whole. On the wall is a black metal rod which curlicues at both ends into slits cut into the wall and dammed up in black. A literal drawing in space. Two wooden slats parallel each other vertically on the wall. The top of one is broken off at an angle, the resulting wedge between the two clayed in. Displacement denoted in a visual tug-of-war as one pulls the skewed segment back into uprightness, closing the articulated

  • Robert Mangold

    Another notion of progression arises in Robert Mangold’s new paintings. Because the canvas support exists as already given, the internal drawing becomes a subtractive process, a cutting into the surface. Dividing up the whole instead of building or growing into it. For example, in his rose-colored Square within a Square 3 Mangold draws the outer edge of the square support with an internal line. The surface is then further articulated with three proportionately decreasing squares arranged in order counterclockwise from the bottom right to the top left. Painting becomes a process of sequential

  • David Novros

    Sequence in David Novros’s paintings is the traditional one of pictorial ordering, of the balancing of relationships from color to color and shape to shape across the canvas. His progressions derive from correspondences of one to one instead of additions of one plus one. Although his forms bear an architectonic relation to each other, the organization is more the weighing of one part against another within a whole than the building of a whole through systematic succession. His paintings function primarily as closed systems within which one’s eye travels through permutations and repetitions of

  • Lucio Pozzi

    Like Novros, Lucio Pozziorganizes his work around the circularity of comparison. One to one and one to two and back again to one to one. However, in his work the act of relating is explicitly transferred to the viewer instead of remaining contingent on the interior dynamics of the painting. In his recent show, Pozzi exhibited two sets of paintings—A Double and Z Double—hung directly opposite each other on two sides of the gallery. Each set contrasted two equal panels, both painted gray. On one a vertical line was scraped out by a pencil from a horizontally brushed background; on the other a

  • Jesus Raphael Soto

    A more dramatic exposition of the viewer’s participatory role can be seen in JESUS Raphael Soto’s reliefs and environments. Here the movement of the viewer is essential for the activation of the optical vibrations of the works. For the changes in relationship are based on the sensory effects of moire patterns which depend upon the viewer for their existence. The viewer is thus no longer just a spectator but an actual performer necessary for the completion of the work. Looking at Soto’s retrospective one can trace his increasing involvement of the viewer in his works, leading to a physical as