los-angeles

Eric Magnuson

Roy Boyd

Eric Magnuson uses essentially meaningless phrases to lecture us regarding the problems we face as a trapped art public. In A Typical Whorl (all works, 1989), the words “AMORTALMUST/THINKMORTAL/ANDNOTMMOR/TALTHOUGHTS” are crunched together in four lines on a black background, each block letter illuminated by an overall spiral pattern. Closed Circle (Ransom Note), reads, “Thought submits to the real compulsion of societal debt relations and deluded, claim this compulsion as its own.” The text is done Dada-poster style, in a variety of colors and typefaces. The painted sentence is in the shape of a nine-foot-long curl. In Myth (Red) and Myth (Green), the digital text reads, “Man’s impulse to make art comes from the knowledge of his impending death.” Magnuson’s abbreviated, out of context, psychoanalytic/philosophy-speak texts read like the drunken utterances of a morose party guest. In three

Sign-in to keep reading

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

Not registered for artforum.com? 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.