• Dan Flavin

    Guggenheim Museum SoHo / Dia Center for the Arts

    The recent exhibitions at the Guggenheim SoHo and Dia together comprised a good overview of Dan Flavin’s activity from the early ’60s to the late ’80s. While Dia’s presentation of its Flavin holdings included several remarkable works—numerous versions of his “monuments” for V. Tatlin; 1964–68, two rooms of corner works in different hues; and the all-red monument 4 those who have been killed in ambush (to P. K. who reminded me about death), 1966, that once dominated the back room of Max’s Kansas City where Robert Smithson and Andy Warhol held court—the Guggenheim installation, culled from the

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  • Sally Mann

    Edwynn Houk Gallery | New York

    Naked Jessie dazzles as a rapt Shiva crouched in a brook; the coiled braids on the back of her head in Vinland, 1992, are as freighted with significance as a moody blur of trees in the distance. In At Warm Springs, 1991, Virginia immerses herself in water and pretends to be a severed head, her fine hair snaking out around a tiny face that barely clears the surface and seems to float in a medallion of light. She resembles a gorgon, but her eyes are closed—her gaze is directed inward, rendering her an interior presence, a benign, canny spirit, rather than a harbinger of destruction. This symbolic

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  • Kiki Smith

    Pace Wildenstein

    Despite the fashionable critical discourse about the body that has surrounded her work in the past few years, in many ways Kiki Smith remains an old-fashioned sculptor whose work invites comparison to that of Medardo Rosso and Rodin—if not to more strictly academic 19th-century sculptors. One need only recall Paul Thek’s rather gruesome corporeal fantasies to recognize that Smith’s dissolutions of the body are relatively tame, her sculptures essentially conservative.

    Even when larger-than-life, her figures, with their mottled, handworked surfaces and tenuous poses, are always human in scale. In

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  • Rémy Zaugg

    Brooke Alexander

    One of the few true conceptual painters, Rémy Zaugg relentlessly interrogates painting to reveal the linguistic foundation of perception. Typical of Zaugg’s project would be the paintings, shown here in 1991, which bore verbal notations describing Cézanne’s House of the Hanged Man, 1873. Though Not Here, 1990–95, Zaugg’s new installation, is as reductive, austere, and monochromatic as ever, it is also, in its own fastidious way, a hoot.

    Its difference from Zaugg’s other work lies in its calculated simplicity. It consists of 27 seemingly identical, small white-on-white paintings bearing the same

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  • Shirin Neshat

    Annina Nosei Gallery

    Images of hand and eye have long been used as synecdoches not only for artistic production, but also for signification. In Shirin Neshat’s photographic work, they take on additional connotative value as they are the only two portions of a woman’s body that can be exhibited in public in certain Islamic countries.

    Neshat’s stark, confrontational black and white photographs are executed by others, and the artist herself—sometimes alone, sometimes with other women, always severely garbed in a black chador, and occasionally packing a weapon—is their subject. Although we may presume that Neshat composes

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  • Vito Acconci

    Dia Center for the Arts

    Realizing that, by any objective standard, a good rock band is better than most art, Vito Acconci made the obvious choice and called in a rock and roll band—the Mekons—for his portion of the Artists in Action project, a new addition to BAM’s annual “Next Wave Festival,” which enables visual artists (this year it was Acconci, Ilya Kabakov, Kristin Jones and Andrew Ginzel) to present works-in-progress for the stage. Of course, since Vito was given a largish quantity of someone else’s money to spend, he couldn’t reasonably be expected to just let the Mekons play a gig at Dia (which would have been

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  • Toland Grinnell

    Basilico Fine Arts

    Pity the poor white boy. Here, at the beginning of the end of everything, he is having a hard time. His dick is mostly limp, or in the wrong place, or sometimes just cut off altogether (at which point, it’s spread all over the news). Strange and alien things and people and technology press in on him from all sides: black people and brown people and women and computers and cars that talk back. Previously assured of his divine right to rule the world, the white boy is currently discovering that it isn’t quite as divine or right as it used to be. Which leaves the white boy in the position that

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  • Keith Edmier

    Petzel Gallery | East 67th Street

    For Keith Edmier’s recent show, the window of the gallery had been altered to accommodate a single form, Nowhere (Insideout) (all works 1995), convex on the inside, concave on the outside, which consisted of an acrylic cast that pushed forward into the gallery, ulcerating the interior space with a gorgeous, incandescent amethyst glow. The diagonal fissure across its center could, in the psychosexual reading that finds a phallus in every protrusion and a vagina in every concavity, have suggested a wound, but the central fissure’s spiky, crystalline structure soon laid such interpretative impulses

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  • Jackson Pollock

    Jason McCoy Gallery

    Though hardly earth-shattering, this exhibition of newly discovered, authentic works by Jackson Pollock—which included drawings, paintings, and a sculpture—was of more than academic interest. That is, were it not for Pollock’s allover paintings of 1946 and 1947–50 and the early ’40s works that preceded them with which we are already familiar, the works shown here would lead us to label him a naive abstractionist full of labored Sturm und Drang signifying very little indeed. The path from the early Family Scene, ca. 1934–36, à la Thomas Hart Benton to Number 24, 1950, is certainly a twisted one,

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  • Frank Gohlke

    Bonni Benrubi Gallery

    Frank Gohlke’s photographs are characterized by carefully selected details set against a grand, virtually infinite space; this signature style is also his means of mastering the contradictions of nature. Gohlke maps the same Midwestern/Western territory—Kansas, Minnesota, and Texas (with Mount Saint Helens thrown in)—that the social realists of the ’30s did, but his raw vision of the land is even more austere (and less ideological) than theirs. As his excruciating close-ups of houses destroyed by tornadoes indicate, nature easily wrecks the best-laid plans. Gohlke’s landscape is a bleak, weirdly

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  • Caroline Dlugos

    Gorney Bravin + Lee

    At first glance, Caroline Dlugos’ large color landscapes appear to be neo-objectivist expressions in which the pure pleasure of looking at any huge, well-made color photograph is almost enough. And Dlugos’ pictures are certainly beautiful. They are all taken from an elevated vantage point—with fields of grass or flowers or plowed ground swelling up to fill the lower two-thirds of the frame—and all end in a high, straight line that forms the horizon, above which loom luxurious skies. These expansive views are initially restful, so it is with some consternation that you begin to notice incommensurable

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  • Chris Wilder

    Roger Merians Gallery

    Wrapping the gallery in foil as if it were a great big gift, L.A.–based artist Chris Wilder created a shiny, happy, reflective environment in which the not necessarily shiny and happy New York public could contemplate a group of peculiarly attractive paintings. The experience of Chill Out, 1995, was smoothed out by the eclectic sounds of a CD made in collaboration with fellow Los Angeleno T. Kelly Mason (which featured a compilation of excerpts from such disparate and relatively obscure sources as Spiro T. Agnew Speaks Out and Action Stereo! Adventures in Stereo Sound Effects), and one section

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  • Allen Ginsberg

    Tibor De Nagy Gallery

    Like the other Beats, Allen Ginsberg upheld an esthetic that emphasized directness, immediacy, and lived experienced-a kind of aformalism that enabled its practitioners to sow their creative seeds in a variety of fields. William Burroughs added collage and painting to his writing; Paul Bowles added writing to his music; and Ginsberg took up photography alongside his poetry. Given the pictures exhibited in Ginsberg’s show—some from the halcyon ’50s and ’60s, others more recent, in either case mostly portraits, unpretentious in form, personal in content, all in black and white—he appears to treat

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  • “Looky Loo” and “High Anxiety”


    Since the early ’90s, Kenny Schachter has staged consistently edgy group shows, typically for brief periods and usually in transitional spaces. Late last spring, two exhibitions showcased his signature, low-concept approach to curating: “Looky Loo,” held at an established nonprofit space uptown, and “High Anxiety,” at a temporary downtown site.

    “Looky Loo” presented works with no pretensions to the status of high art by seven artists with a penchant for drawing out the beauty of the ephemeral. All seven pieces reflected the low-budget esthetic favored by Schachter: an unlikely mix of sophisticated

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  • Greg Lynn

    Artists Space Exhibitions

    It is a polarity that has governed our vision of the future for decades: either the computer age is embraced as the harbinger of an era of unprecedented comfort or as the augur of a technological wasteland. In Greg Lynn’s version, the computer will blissfully alter the spaces we inhabit. Unfortunately, if his recent show is any indication, the form this architectural innovation will take is so detached from the physical world as to be completely sterile.

    Tucked away snugly in a corner of the gallery, the asymmetrical Mylar panels that formed the curved walls of Lynn’s installation were molded

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  • Mathew in the School of Life

    The Kitchen

    Stained-glass tarot cards flanked the set of the Ridge Theater’s multimedia performance Mathew in the School of Life, n.d., flashing and flickering like pinball machines. John Moran (the piece’s author, composer, and protagonist) appeared on stage dressed in classic Star Wars gear, aping Michael Jackson’s moon-walk to a score of soaring strings, vocoded voices, and myriad other sound effects. Replete with pop cultural quotations, “found sound,” slide projections, and educational filmstrips, Mathew in the School of Life played like a primer in performative pastiche. Though billed as a “sci-fi

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