houston

“Without”

DiverseWorks

“Without,” curated by David Cannon Dashiell and Peter Edlund (originally for The LAB in San Francisco in conjunction with A Day Without Art) managed to integrate several different approaches to privation, absence, and loss into one remarkably coherent meditation. What is more remarkable is that “Without” also managed to avoid being ponderous or maudlin. In fact, the works collected here might usefully be categorized using the medieval terms for representations of death: memento mori, danse macabre, vanitas vanitatum, ars morendi, and magines mortis.

Comprised of 15 pieces, in all media, by 15 different artists, the show emphasized the correspondences among these diverse works. Acting as memento mori were Lucy PulsMatrona cum Umbraculum, 1991, a cubed matron in shaded, shattered lucite (novelist Kevin Killian wrote in his exhibition essay that it attained the “nobility of repair”); Nayland

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