New York

“The Risk of Existence”

Phyllis Kind Gallery

For an artist, orchestrating a salon around your own most recent work is a traditional act of hubris that dates to the eighteenth century. It’s also contemporary practice, a way to indulge the fantasy of imposing order on the world, charting your own ancestry of deceased influences, associating yourself with jeunesse dorée art stars, and colonizing the efforts of steadfast underknowns. Such a show always entails diplomacy and self-aggrandizement, involving returned favors, deep pockets, deeper flights of fancy, and an ability to wrestle with your own demons. Such a show also solves the problem of what to exhibit if, like Mark Greenwold, the curator of “The Risk of Existence,” you make only one painting a year.

This particular auto-curatorial act was an especially brilliant instance of anxious self-contextualization, in that the show (eighteen works by as many artists) got the visual and

to keep reading

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

Not registered for 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 February 1999 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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