new-york

Jann Haworth

Sidney Janis Gallery

Somewhere out in the swamps at edge of the island of art Jann Haworth presides over a little kingdom all her own. She makes compulsive, “heavy” dolls and constructions which actually seem to seek out weirdness and bizarrerie. But the result has about as much significance as neo-Victorian toyshop decoration (many of the properties here are in fact supplied by Secondhand Rose).

I have observed Haworth’s misunderstanding of the relation of camp to Pop before (Studio International, November, 1968), and there is no progress to report now. The accompanying photograph, showing three of her fairy dolls arranged in a close-up landscape setting, pretty much sums the whole enterprise up. This is an art both devoid of intelligence and overflowing with affectation. Whatever creepiness there is does not derive from the use of macabre subject matter but from the stifling coyness of the oeuvre as a whole.

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