PRINT December 1999

Dave Hickey

1. “Robert Gober” (Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 1997) Gober’s installation, with its penetrated Virgin, subterranean tide pools, and waterfall stairwell, is my icon of the decade. In its intellectual rigor and plangent availability, it’s as close as we’re likely to get to the refinement and generosity of a seventeenth-century sculptural occasion. We may speculate on its wry deconstruction of Duchampian aesthetics, or we may, as one of the museum guards did, make a gesture indicating the flow of experience through the pipe and through the Virgin, and simply say, “Clemencia, Señor.

2. “Cindy Sherman: Retrospective”
(Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 1997–98) Asked about the proliferation of artists who mimicked his style, Willem de Kooning said, “Hey! They can only make the good ones.” (Meaning: Great artists have the privilege

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