New York

Izhar Patkin

Holly Solomon Gallery

Izhar Patkin parades the pompous fashions of our artistic decadence as if they were parodic figures, like corn-media dell’arte characters. Culture has been clad in the same sort of esthetic vestments for so long now that the fabric of Beauty is but a musty, tattered heirloom. The garments of cultural respectability have indeed worn so thin that their transparency reveals to us their luxurious wealth and feeble condition. The luxuriousness apparent in Patkin’s show, entitled “Five-Piece Suit,” remained ambiguously double-edged throughout. At issue for the viewer was whether the art was beautiful or ugly. However, the questions surrounding this conundrum are more significant than that of mere taste. The esthetic and social ambivalence in Patkin’s art exudes a sort of sickly charm in which the distinctions between kitsch and authenticity, highbrow and lowbrow, purity and perversion, comedy

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the October 1987 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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