toronto

John Scott

Carmen Lamanna Gallery

The “hand” is held in low regard in progressive circles these days. Though John Scott made his reputation exhibiting robust, tarry drawings that evoke the violence of contemporary life, in this show he seems to have yielded to fashion. The works are all custom-fabricated or altered objects, more in the spirit of Hans Haacke than of Max Beckmann or Asger Jorn. The one exception is a piece entitled Selbst (Self; all works 1989), in which an announcement for Scott’s show bearing a patch of his own skin tattooed with three roses and a number is enshrined in a jewelry display case. Though Scott’s self-mutilation shares something with the celebrated actions by Yves Klein, Vito Acconci and Chris Burden, the dexterity and expressive economy that formerly enabled him to render terrible facts in a manner that shaded them with humor without minimizing their gravity is less in evidence. Here the

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