• Larry Johnson

    Margo Leavin Gallery

    Critics have described Larry Johnson’s work as ironic, witty, and cool, seeing it as “a deliberate provocation, a mocking . . . perpetuation of (coy, cruel, twisted) defense mechanisms” or “user-friendly, if slightly bitchy art—bereft of interiority . . . and custom tailored to intensify those pleasures of the text that Roland Barthes extols.” These quotes are from writers I like and admire, and they get at the heart of some of Johnson’s earlier efforts. But what I saw in the artist’s new works, all from 1998, was only an attitude of cool, a facade of bitchy wit, and an appearance of impersonal,

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  • Chris Finley


    Known primarily for interactive sculptures produced from drugstore items like Rubbermaid containers filled with detritus—pieces of toys, whittled-down pencil stubs—Chris Finley presented in last year’s exhibit “Level One” paintings that made some unusual demands on viewers. Some had to be walked through, examined from specific vantage points to catch perspectival tricks, or, in the case of Boing Splat, 1997, glimpsed while jumping on a trampoline. Though the method of presentation has changed in “Level Two” (part of a series loosely based on the structure of video games, with viewers advancing

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