los-angeles

Winston Newport

Modern Objects

The name Winston Newport represents Los Angeles artist Eric Magnuson’s “Late Modernist” persona. It is also a semiotic construct that he uses to signify a specific methodological practice of co-optation. With its reference to cigarette brand names and Hollywood-style packaging, the name suggests a large Modernist corporation that produces and markets art objects for mass consumption. The objective is to cement Newport and Modernism as firmly together as Jeff Koons and Nike sportswear or Daniel Buren and vertical stripes. The irony, of course, is that no one has heard of Newport, far less “his” alter ego, Eric Magnuson, so that the packaging of the packager takes on the characteristics of playful deconstruction rather than rhetorical reification.

In an exhibition entitled “Late Work” Newport presented a series of paintings, photographs, and fabric compositions, all from 1986 and ’87, that

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