new-york

Spencer Finch

Postmasters

In his previous work, Spencer Finch has wandered the world quixotically tilting his paintbrush at historically fraught sites and subjects: the ceiling over Freud's couch in Vienna, the patch of sky above Cape Canaveral where the space shuttle Challenger blew up, a Civil War battlefield. In each case, he puts a witty twist on his inevitable failure to depict a scene adequately. The sky above Canaveral is rendered as a small square of blue acrylic on a white sheet of paper, for instance—a tragicomically rigorous depiction of the site as seen from the ground. But Finch seems less concerned with the inability to capture the features of an iconic place or moment than with the limits of visuality per se, a vanishing point that is both his project's blessing and its curse.

Along with photographs and drawing, the artist's most recent show featured seven large-scale monochromatic mosaics. Spaced

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the April 1999 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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