• “Against Nature”

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

    “Against Nature: Japanese Art in the Eighties” attempts the impossible task of encapsulating a distant art scene using the works of 10 artists (nine individuals plus the Dumb Type performance group). The show is a collaboration between two American curators, Kathy Halbreich and Thomas Sokolowski, and two Japanese, Fumio Nanjo and Shinji Kohmoto. Unfortunately, the selection of work seems both too sparse and too ill-focused to make convincing any inferences about Japanese art in the ’80s.

    The show and its catalogue argue that the most vital, independent current in recent Japanese art is one that

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  • Catherine Wagner

    Fraenkel Gallery

    Catherine Wagner is a particularist whose black and white photographs discriminate, as she says, “more than the eye is used to seeing.” This small show comprised prints chosen from the three main series she has completed over the past decade: “George Moscone Site,” 1979–82, “The Louisiana World Exposition,” 1984–85, and “American Classroom,” 1982–87. As the titles suggest, her subjects have tended to be the purposeful spaces of public architecture and schools. The subjects have a reflexive pitch, as if Wagner’s eye and her camera had set out to rediscover their own intentions through confronting

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