Los Angeles

Carter Potter

Sue Spaid Fine Art

With the art world knee-deep in both nagging insecurities and a backlash desire to appear confidently hip, in-jokes are all the rage; indeed, about the worst thing you can say about a work of art these days is that it looks simply clever. This spells trouble for Carter Potter’s latest output, which is, if nothing else, as smart as a barbed whip. Potter weaves together motion-picture film strips as if they were colored thread and displays the resulting “fabric” on stretcher bars like paintings. Clever, yes, but Potter’s celluloid quilts manage to lead a surprisingly robust afterlife; the gesture is much more than a one-liner. Like a lot of art today, Potter’s winks; the difference is it also delivers.

Simultaneously high-tech and handcrafted, spectacular and homespun, Potter’s patchworks possess that certain mix of cosmic materiality and vague optimism that Peter Plagens once described as

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the January 1992 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.