• Cameron Shaw

    Richard/Bennett Gallery

    Since Walter Benjamin’s rehabilitation of allegory from the rhetorical realms of historicism, it has become popular among both artists and theorists as a strategy of resistance. By appropriating and reconstituting historical fragments as incomplete significations, the allegory equates history with the ruin, creating, in Benjamin’s words, “an irreversible process of dissolution and decay, a progressive distancing from origin.” Cameron Shaw’s enigmatic reliefs of weathered boxes, bottles, and found stereoscopic photographs seem on first viewing to be a perfect example of this poetry of loss and

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  • Judie Bamber

    Jan Baum Gallery

    Judie Bamber’s hyperreal portraits of squished, oozing, or occasionally intact tiny objects would hold up well if scrutinized through a magnifying glass. Excuse Me For Living (Spearmint Freshen-Up Gum Whole and Squashed), 1988, is an itsy-bitsy piece of pillow-shaped gum painted in such detail that, in the diptych’s second panel, you see pin-prick-sized bubbles in the goo that’s leaking from the gum’s liquid center. A hapless canned cherry, perfectly rendered, bleeds a teensy puddle of juice in What Are You Lookin’ At?, 1989. In the diptych Closeness is Easier When You Are Far Away, 1988, a

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  • Nayland Blake

    Richard Kuhlenschmidt Gallery

    This show consisted of six artworks, all 1989, and functioned as a philosophical game of three against three: transcendent words versus sinister objects. At the same time, it resembled a lesson plan, with viewers as the submissive pupils, and the artist as the subversive instructor.

    The word team begins with lesson one, Schatzman Hallucination Guide. Written in ink on a blackboard is the following: “Construct a sentence to render the event in words. Withdraw consciousness from the event. Deny the previous steps, the next steps, and the denials. Change the subject, verb or object of the sentence

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  • Karen Carson

    Rosamund Felsen Gallery

    “Spiritual Vanities” is the name Karen Carson chose for this exhibit of paintings and smaller watercolors, but her titles, mostly derived from Disney songs, seem closer in spirit to the rhapsodic chromatic and spatial manipulations of these works. Carson’s exuberantly orchestrated acrylic-on-panel constructions are studded with pieces of Plexiglas mirror, usually arranged in concentric ripples, like shards from a shattered reflection. These are contraposed with radiations of paint that charge the works’ surfaces with explosive energy, but also, problematically, suggest a cause-and-effect reading

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