PRINT September 2003


Jack Bankowsky on his tenure at Artforum

I SEE JEFF WALLS EVERYWHERE—in the seepage and spills on the garage floor, at the weedy edges of a parking lot, in the pill lodged in the casing of the medicine cabinet above my sink (for how long now?). Sometimes I think I dream up better Walls than Wall does . . . well, not really, but you know what I mean. Everyone who cares about art has experienced this sort of “seeing in the style of”—the sense of whole spheres of reality indelibly marked by a strong artist. I remember my earliest glimpse of Wall’s work: It was a black-and-white image of The Destroyed Room illustrating a review, circa early ’80s. The picture was mysterious—the poise of artifice and disarray. The aftermath of an Allan Kaprow—or just a ransacked home but structured like The Death of Sardanapalus? What, I wondered, was this artist after? Was what I thought I was seeing in this isolated image simply a serendipitous

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