• “Balsphemies, Ecstasies, Cries”

    Serpentine Galleries

    “Blasphemies, Ecstasies, Cries” was, in the words of its curator, Andrew Brighton, a profoundly reactionary exhibition, in that it set out to recoup imaginative high culture rather than to revolutionize it. Yet cynical rejection of this enterprise is not at all in order, since the exhibition was, at the very least, one you could have an argument with. The model of art consumption it attacked was the institutional one epitomized by the Museum of Modern Art, which plays down the individual qualities of works for the sake of their contribution to a larger, continuous story. By contrast, this

    Read more
  • Keith Piper

    Bedford Hill Gallery

    Keith Piper is part of a vital constituency of British-based artists of color, a group that by no means speaks with a homogenous voice. These artists, in fact, are engaged in a complex debate on the nature and possible directions of alternative arts from within a plurality of cultural experiences and a diversity of esthetic strategies. Piper, who often identifies the author of his work as “Black Art by Machines,” is a political activist. Yet despite his dependence on the use of familiar sociopolitical subject matter, his vocabulary is considerably more subtle than the plaintive rhetoric of ’70s

    Read more
  • Carlos Villanueva Brandt

    Pontone Gallery

    Carlos Villanueva Brandt is an architect who paints as part of the design process. His paintings possess enough fullness and force to command pictorial contemplation. Yet they also have a definite design function, no matter how much they seem to be displaced or detoured by painterly reverie. Their ambivalence raises interesting questions about the function of painting as something other than an end it itself, without threatening the works’ essential integrity.

    Villanueva Brandt is best known as a member of the NATO (Narrative Architecture Today) group. NATO’S “Gamma City” show in 1985 and “British

    Read more