reviews

  • Charles Ray

    The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)

    “What I wish to point out here is that the entire enterprise of art making provides the ground for finding the limits and possibilities of certain kinds of behavior.”

    —Robert Morris, Artforum, 1970

    WHEN BEHAVIORISM MOVES INTO THE MUSEUM, the result is decisive, or so Robert Morris thought around 1970: The viewer becomes active, the art object passive or passive-aggressive, and the gallery a laboratory where the two collide. Morris went so far as to insist that such activity be more bodily than mental, that the intersection between viewer and object force an encounter that makes “physical and

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  • John Currin

    Regen Projects

    An old theory held that isolated instances of beauty might exist in nature, but always mingled with flaws of various sorts. So in order to portray an image of ideal beauty, the artist would have to collect these detached bits of perfection and combine them into a form that nature could never match. It was a sort of montage avant la lettre. The women in John Currin’s paintings are a product of a similarly concealed constructivism, although beauty doesn’t seem to be involved—abnormality, whether subtle or eye-catching, would be more the point. In the five paintings here, individual or paired

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  • Kurt Kauper

    ACME.

    Draped from head to toe in a feather-trimmed crimson cloak seemingly intended to raise speculation about what’s underneath, the cheeky figure of Diva Fiction #8, 1999, stands with her hair swept up and her head tilted back. Hands clasped low, she saucily glances at viewers as if trying to catch someone’s eye from across the room. The lone flirt of the group of finely rendered opera divas who occupy Kurt Kauper’s set of four oils, she flaunts what she’s got, though it’s unclear whether she has anything more than attitude to bring to the table. The more decorous figure of Diva Fiction #9, 1999,

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  • John Williams

    Dan Bernier Gallery

    Noisy sounds and flashing lights, things spinning around, seemingly casual combinations of materials: It would be easy to think that John Williams’s sculptures were the result of hanging out at too many loud parties in friends’ basements or frat houses. That’s part of the work’s charm, something goofy, blunt, and basically male about the object. The charm only increases when you begin to consider all the delicacy amid the boisterousness: butterflies, stained glass, flowers, tinsel.

    Washing Machine and Butterflies, 1999, positions a rotating spotlight atop a tiny washing machine—its operating knob

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