New York

Michael Hurson

The Clocktower

The nearly opaque, latticelike marks that obscure and bring attention to the right side of Michael Hurson’s Motel #2, 1972, are the first signs of life in his work on paper, at least as it was presented in this survey of drawings from 1969 to the present. These pieces—many of them remarkable, all of them of some interest—often seem not quite up to full strength until this point. It is as if Hurson either does not know or refuses to confront what it is he wishes to convey. In the portraits of furniture, single sofas or room-sized suites of contemporary banalities, he willingly invests the inanimate with personality; this penchant reaches an apex in 15 drawings from 1969–71, in which ordinary eyeglasses are made to assume the kinds of poses associated with limber models, to comically wistful effect. A similar wistfulness distinguishes the “Palm Springs” drawings from 1971, as Hurson’s choppy,

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 May 1984 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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