TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT April 1987

PUTTY AS A PICTURE

ONCE IN A WHILE, “something in the air” can catalyze peculiar, quirky artwork that hits at the heart of its time, taking a symbolic role in which it seems to represent the archetypal interests of its day. (Meret Oppenheim’s Fur-Covered Cup, Saucer, and Spoon was such a work for 1936.) In the ’80s, when a “hunger for images”1 has created a kind of vomitorium of art, rather than iconic, “permanent”-seeming pictures, in a process of accelerated declaration and consumption with no pause for digestion, it makes sense that the materials of a body of work that has this sense of catching its time would in some way evoke, or embody in their expression, the contemporary process of instantaneous statement, absorption, and supersession. In its bizarre way, Silly Putty, George Horner’s medium of choice, has just that capacity; it is in fact its essence. As he uses it, it reveals a kinship with the

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