Vincent A. Carducci

  • Michael Hall

    Michael Hall’s exhibition entitled “American Honeymoon (Niagara Speculations),” 1991, picks up on concerns introduced in his earlier “Rose and Briar,” 1989–91, sculptures, by employing the great basin of Niagara Falls to frame American historical, cultural, and religious narratives. The “Rose and Briar” sculptures were based on an Appalachian folk song in which two lovers are united in death through the intertwining of the rose and briar bushes that grew on their respective graves. Where the even earlier “Waltz,” 1983–88, sculptures function as literal and metaphoric containers, in the “Rose

  • Ed Fraga

    In his book Devil’s Night and Other True Tales of Detroit, Ze’ev Chafets likens Detroit to a third world nation, portraying the city as crude in terms of its quality of life and paralyzed by the struggle with issues of self-determination. While Chafet’s sound-byte adequately summons images of squalor and desperation, the cultural reality of the third world—the politics of moving from a “lesser-developed” to a consumer economy—is quite unlike the dilemma facing Detroit, a city that has become derelict as a result of postindustrial disinvestment. It would be more apt to compare Detroit’s condition

  • Bradbury Thompson

    From the time of the Bauhaus, Modernist design has endeavored to mediate cultural difference with well-designed goods and images. Through the grid and sans serif type, graphic design has popularized the ecumenical esthetic of High Modernism. Bradbury Thompson has been a major presence in Modernist graphic design for much of the 20th century, and this retrospective surveyed his work over the last 50 years.

    One should acknowledge the corporation’s role as a patron for legions of designers. In this case, the West Virginia Paper and Pulp Company (Westvaco) has played Don Lodovico since 1938, when

  • Robert Wilbert

    In A Balthus Notebook, Guy Davenport writes, “A work of art is a structure of signs, each meaningful.” Every element in a Robert Wilbert painting is synecdochic of the artist’s presence. While the images in his paintings are taken from observation, Wilbert cannot be considered a straightforward realist; he makes use of layers of meaning which reside beneath the surface of the exterior world. The components of each mise-en-scène have associations in the synthetic order of culture, but Wilbert’s intention is to portray the artifice of painting itself. Within the frame of representation, narratives

  • Urban Interiors Project

    Urban Interiors Project is an ongoing collaboration between photographer Bruce Harkness and historian John Bukowczyk intended to document, through photographs and interviews, the lives of Detroit’s Poletown/Chene District residents. The area under examination, which is located on the city’s east side, was once a solid working-class enclave that has gradually become blighted; in 1980, for instance, 3,400 residents and 140 businesses were displaced and 1,200 buildings razed there in order to make room for an industrial park, which currently houses a General Motors plant. Since its inception in

  • James Adley

    James Adley’s canvases are unabashedly Modernist: they exist as indexes of the act of painting, eschewing “readymade” images of both nature and culture. The surfaces of Adley’s paintings are mapped by striated layers of color that interact as compositional events, creating multivalent levels of space. The artist’s movement is embodied in painterly marks created with such implements as rakes, trowels, push brooms, rollers, and squeegees. Adley’s art asserts the body as the mediator of experience, and the trace as the physical remenant of the phenomenal world. He succeeds most when the work is no

  • “P9/9119/53699”

    According to The Detroit Free Press, there are 3,500 to 3,800 vacant houses in the city of Detroit scheduled for demolition in the upcoming year. Ironically, the abandonment of the “Motor City” has been facilitated by the automobile, which has made possible the great number of bedroom communities that comprise the outlying suburbs. Detroit is certainly one of those “zones of disintensification,” cited by Jean Baudrillard after his recent tour of America, which have become “dumping grounds, wastelands, and new deserts for the poor,” as post-industrial society contracts to eliminate anything not

  • Gary Kulak

    Gary Kulak is unusual among sculptors working in Detroit in that he is one of the few using raw industrial material—in his case, welded steel and automotive paint—in the manufacture of art objects. Even though Detroit has a preeminent place in the history of industry, the area’s sculptural practice tends either toward an academic use of traditional materials and methods—such as bronze casting—or a form of bricolage whereby urban detritus is recombined as art. Kulak’s work, on the other hand, comes out of post-Minimalism; the artist uses highly reductive images of chairs and buildings as analogic

  • Bradley Jones

    Bradley Jones has been painting the figure for more than two decades. His early work often portrayed fantastic figures such as dog-faced men in business suits; in the ’70s he began crowding his pictures with the members of Detroit’s working class. These characters, while not necessarily having outsider status, still bore the mark of alienation. In the work here, they are contained within grids—some show multiple images of the same subject, others frame apparently unrelated scenes—in which each element stands as a picture in its own right. Whereas Jones’ previous works could be read as mere