new-york

Jennifer Bartlett

Paula Cooper Gallery | 529 West 21st Street

I have always found Jennifer Bartlett’s reliance on pictorial device, her emphatic desire to prove the artiness of her art, terribly arch. The sectional pieces, with their diagrammatic representations and schematic indexing, suffered from the tension of wanting to be seen as intellectual. The later screens appeared more relaxed as they played around with a look of casual funkiness, but too often remained merely coy. The new paintings are still burdened with such problems, still rely too much on obvious devices like repetition and internal rhyming within a tripartite format. But they are saved by the fact that Bartlett seems now more willing to be simply a painter, a decision that allows the work to lose a great deal of unnecessary baggage.

These paintings are photo-derived, based on a series of snapshots of an empty swimming pool, with peeing put-to, somewhere in the south of France. The

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the February 1984 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.