New York

Gary Bachman

Wolff Gallery

In his recent installation Gary Bachman amassed a monumental array of 1,000 drawings, all culled from dictionary illustrations. He copied each illustration by hand, using ink on paper in an 8-by-10-inch format, then hung these “plates” on panels in groups of 25. The entire series is alphabetized from beginning to end by the name of the subject. Although the work of a single illustrator comprises its source material, Bachman’s project differs from other, more typical appropriation gestures in that the source itself is decidedly generic, with the question of authorship largely a matter of in-difference. The illustrations strive to match the apparent anonymity of the various words, but in these images some latent sense of the topical, the immediate, the sensual, gradually rises up. Accordingly, Bachman’s citations exploit this slow resistance in order to reveal some fundamental disparities

to keep reading

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

Not registered for 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 ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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