New York

Nancy Barton

American Fine Arts

“I took up photography and its attraction was not that of creativity or expression, but the potential for recrimination.” This is one of the autobiographical statements Nancy Barton has silkscreened onto a marble-patterned Formica panel. Barton has managed to be recriminating at a time when most artists, male and female alike, seem to be more than content with the status quo. The installation is called, terrifyingly enough, “Swan Song,” and it consists of panels covered with quotations from the artist, her mother, and the writings of Hélène Cixous, Luce Irigaray, and Catherine Clement, all juxtaposed with recreations of opera advertisements. Barton uses her mother as a model for these ads. The elder Barton wears elaborate costumes and heavy makeup, and strikes melodramatic poses; the colors in the photographs are lurid, the lighting, heavy-handed. The photos advertise the suffering of

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 February 1989 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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