Terry Fox

University Art Museum, Berkeley

Terry Fox is disliked (as an artist) in some quarters because his work goes to the trouble to be accessible; its grainy, newsreellike verisimilitude, Wagnerian theatricality, and morsels of personal tragedy (Fox has been through hell with Hodgkin’s disease), make it, to some of the heavier solipsist types, a bit of a sellout. True, Fox is the one who took off, who did a piece with Beuys, who was in Avalanche, and who now has been authenticated in the officialdom of the University Art Museum in Berkeley. For me, however, that’s all to the good: an artist’s job is to make art from his lifestyle, not the reverse. And Fox functions so well because he’s an infallible designer—a hunch reaffirmed continually by everything he touches: large-scale “hospital“ sculptures, videotapes, photo blowups, or his gritty, whiteness-and-soot performances—who manages to cohere myriad literary/psychological

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