Susan Heinemann

  • 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

  • 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

  • Pistoletto

    A more blatant manipulation of the viewer as the actor in a visual trick is apparent in Pistoletto’s work. His use of polished steel surfaces for his images allows one to see one’s own mirror reflection as an observer of the vignettes enacted by the photo-silkscreened figures. One becomes a double voyeur, peering into the picture and looking back out to confront oneself looking in. The imagery attached to the surface serves as the set for one’s own performance. In Cage-Environment, for example, one is faced by a group of reflective surfaces divided by printed bars. Both the viewer and the room

  • Nancy Spero

    A different kind of involvement is demanded of the viewer in NANCY SPERO’s work. Using collage and poster techniques, Spero attempts to prod one into political consciousnesss through art.

    Bold silkscreened letters parade across a newsprint banner—“Screw Coporate Art” and “Ars Sine Scientia Nihil Est.” Declarative statements which empty out their content through advertisement, reminding one of the glibness acquired through repetition of antiwar slogans. In other pieces, Spero scatters her bizarre drawings of heads with phallic tongues and perverse sexual relations among her collection of pithy

  • Robert Doisneau

    If narrative is a weakness in Spero’s drawings, it is a strength in ROBERT DOISNEAU’s photographs. For Doisneau is a racconteur of the everyday. His camera roams the streets of Paris, capturing those transitory instants which reveal the candid humor, as well as the humanness, of ordinary events. The laughter of the incongruous recalls the vision of Lartigue. A woman pushing a baby carriage dashes across the street as the maze of cars behind her prepares for attack. A pigeon perches nonchalantly on top of a splattered statue head. A man gazes in consternation juxtaposed against the severed animal

  • Alan Shields

    Looking at Shields’s recent works,one is at first overwhelmed by their insistence on eccentricity. His Peal-Peel Fume Well is a large fabric cylinder stained and sprayed in gaily colored stripes which hangs limply from the ceiling. The strangeness of this ostensibly purposeless object hints at some fetishistic function. Although the form of the object is a product of personal whimsy, in its assumption of a magical significance inherent in its existence, it becomes distanced from its creator. The very playfulness of the decorative bands of color further removes the object from an intimate connection

  • Jim Dine

    One somehow expects that an exhibit of Jim Dine’s drawings will concentrate on the depiction of tools. Tools for Dine have become a personal emblem for the nostalgic poetry of everyday objects. In this sense, his recent drawings contain no surprises. Generally the tools are rendered vertically in a row across the paper. Scrapbook remnants and ordinary things are tacked on at various intervals—dated postcard images, cut-out magazine photos of vegetables, an HB pencil, torn bits of paper, an old toothbrush. The tools themselves are lovingly modulated. They disappear behind a squiggle of lines or

  • “Made in Philadelphia 2”

    The problem with writing about group shows is that one feels compelled to fabricate some catchall generalization with which to categorize the works beingshown. Yet the very diversity of the artists represented in “Made in Philadelphia 2” forestalls any tidy ordering of information. About all one can say is that the works happen to be made in Philadelphia—beyond that it is a matter of individual sensibilities which reveals less about Philadelphia as a particular art-making location than about the heterogeneity of the overall art scene.

    And yet perhaps the word to use here is homogeneity. For the

  • Ralph Steiner

    A certain kind of nostalgia is engendered by Ralph Steiner’s photographs. It is a nostalgia read into the work due to one’s comprehension of the photographic image as an instance of time captured and preserved. And yet Steiner does tend to subvert such a reading with his emphasis on formal concerns and the possibilities of picture-making with the camera image. Thus, while his various photos of billboards from the ’20s and ’30s recollect through “pop” advertisement another era, they also function abstractly as found collages flattening out the tangibility of their surroundings. Similarly in

  • James Newberry

    A different use of the photograph to extend a basically pictorial sensibility can be seen in James Newberry’s work. There is a Surrealistic drama to his depictions of tiny nude women threatened by the fantastical landscapes of giant boulders or enormous chunks of driftwood which surround them. Yet it is one’s knowledge that these are photographs rather than paintings which makes them so disturbing. Despite one’s realization that manipulation of the focal angle can create distortions in appearances, one still believes in the truth of the photograph. And it is this implicit acceptance of the

  • Georgette Batlle, Nancy Siegel-Burson

    Georgette Battle uses photographs of trucks in conjunction with silkscreened color as a referential base for abstraction. Her solid blocks of color accentuate the flatness already present in the frontality of her photographs. In Bills Doors, for example, the saturated reds laid over the three building doors and the rectangles of green and blue in the intervals in between insist on the planarity of the wall structure, while utilizing its form as a compositional armature. Other prints focus on the closed back doors of trucks which reiterate the flatness and rectilinearity of the paper surface. By

  • Pat Steir and Joan Snyder

    Meaning. How does one assign meaning? More basically, what is meaning? Looking at Pat Steir’s and Joan Snyder’s paintings, one is continually drawn back to these questions. Not knowing, reflecting and doubting, searching for answers but never finding solutions. The paintings themselves as objects are not signifiers, for there is no signified—or, at least, no meaning one can grasp onto and say yes, this is it. One does not read these works following a linear syntax. Instead one jerks from one point to another, starting and stopping, leaping off and going back, never arriving at definition. It is