New York

Conrad Atkinson and Victor Burgin

Ronald Feldman Gallery and John Weber Gallery

I have always found the mixture of art and social purpose to be like a "lady’s drink”—the marriage of the sweet and the bitter, an appealing, tasteful presentation of that which if consumed undiluted and without the little paper-umbrella swizzle stick, would disturb and shake you. It was with this bias that I went to see the work of Conrad Atkinson and Victor Burgin, both of which defy categorization; they can be seen as political protest, sociology, anthropology and/or art.

An interesting counterpoint is set up between Atkinson and Burgin, each with his individual approach to that juncture between art and politics. Conrad Atkinson is more the artist/activist of the two; his work has often engaged historical events in a real confrontation. A collage piece of 1978, entitled Silver Liberties: A Souvenir of a Wonderful Anniversary Year, which is part of the present show, was initially banned

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