Suzanne Bloom

  • Ray K. Metzker

    In 1928, regarding photography, László Moholy-Nagy noted that "a small quantity of white is capable of keeping in balance by its activity large areas of the deepest black. . . .” A majority of the 190 photographic works by Ray K. Metzker in this retrospective exhibition, “Unknown Territory,” call to mind—so calculated are their extreme tonal contrasts—this principle of optical design. For example, in Europe: Frankfurt, Germany, 1961, the graphic legacy of Moholy and the Bauhaus (via the Institute of Design , Chicago) are emblematically present. From above—Moholy’s “bird’s eye view”—we are shown

  • “The Nicaragua Media Project”

    The military aggression waged against Nicaragua by U.S.-sponsored “contras” (so-called “freedom fighters”) is equaled in perfidy only by the nonmilitary actions—economic, propagandistic—of the Reagan administration, and all are designed in toto to bring about the eventual overthrow of the Sandinista government. Essential to the narrative that supports these political tactics is an unrestrained exploitation of media materials and forms which gives voice and shape to a xenophobically consituted representation of the Sandinistas as Marxist “other.” (Anti-socialism never sleeps.) A recognition of

  • Richard Prince

    Richard Prince’s work, broadly described, is a deviant breed, something of a cross between Robert Heinecken and Erving Goffman. Its sexuality, however, is more equivocal and complex but less unabashed than the former, while its sociopsychology is less systematic but more subversive than the latter. By this crude rendering we do not mean to ignore Prince’s debt to deconstructive theory. Indeed, one cannot get very far with the work unless its relation to such thought is understood.

    The exhibition consisted of an unbalanced mix of pieces from three series: “The Entertainers,” “Gangs,” and the to

  • David Bates

    David Bates’ bucolic subjects are not the loaded or melodramatic stuff typical of current painting. In Fall Fire, 1984, for example, a young man wearing a brimmed hat, a sleeveless sweater, and Hush Puppies rests on freshly raked grass, contemplating a small pile of burning leaves and the local color. Beside him lies his black and white collie, a retrieved stick between the dog’s paws. A red-handled rake leans against the same tree as the contemplative young man. Nothing untoward occurs here, nothing out of joint. No art-historical allusions present themselves, save, perhaps, the eccentrically

  • Lee Krasner

    There should be no doubt that the body of Lee Krasner’s work deserves public notice and thorough critical examination. A Krasner retrospective has been long due; she is, after all, a veteran painter of fifty years. But whether she and her work embody the significance curator Barbara Rose claims, or whether Rose’s representation of Krasner is an excessively reified construction, is open to question.

    Rose assembled a major exhibition containing 120 paintings and works on paper; a smaller, highly didactic, ancillary exhibition which traced Krasner’s educational development; a 30-minute film comprised

  • “American Still Life 1945–1983”

    At its simplest the genre of still life focuses on common objects within controlled settings. Any serious survey, however, will reveal a surprising diversity of intentions even when confined to still life in American art of the last four decades, as is this exhibition, organized by Linda Cathcart. These parameters also permit a decentered examination of issues that have preoccupied artists, critics, and others since World War II.

    The implicit objective of “American Still Life 1945–1983” may well be less analytic or theoretical. Perhaps the presentational character of the exhibition can be best