• Cy Twombly

    Gagosian Gallery

    CY TWOMBLY'S Coronation of Sesostris, 2000, looks like ten paintings—a suite, perhaps, like The Four Seasons, 1993-94, which formed the coda to the artist's MoMA retrospective seven years ago—but he calls it a painting in ten parts. And aptly so: Each panel might not hold up as an individual, self-contained work, but the whole succeeds brilliantly, its throwaway eloquence burning as brightly in the breaks between canvases as in the constituent parts themselves. It may not be entirely accidental, though, that the widths of the ten panels add up to not much more than the fifty-two feet

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  • Luc Tuymans

    David Zwirner | 519 West 19th Street

    BELGIUM WAS HARDLY one of the more ambitious forces of nineteenth-century Western colonialism. Compared with the British, Spanish, Dutch, and French, Belgians entered the land-grab race rather late: King Leopold II didn't think to seize the Congo until the late 1870s. All the same, the country's colonial rule was notorious: The scope of Leopold's empire may have been modest, but his policies and those of his successors were among the most repressive in Africa.

    Luc Tuymans's recent show of paintings, “Mwana Kitoko,” focused not on the origins of his homeland's imperialism but on a moment during

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  • Panamarenko

    Dia Center for the Arts

    THE SINGLE MOST COMMON THEME in the critical literature on Panamarenko is his failure. This might seem strange, since the Belgian artist has had a long and fairly successful career (at least in Europe; this is his first major US exhibition). But the “f” word doesn't arise in discussions of his career—it relates to how his art objects function.

    Panamarenko skirts a long tradition of Belgian invention: Attributed to his countrymen are innovations from French fries to modem plastics, from the saxophone to the internal combustion engine. But perhaps his true ancestor is an Italian: Like Leonardo

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  • Tatsuo Miyajima

    Luhring Augustine | Chelsea

    SINCE HIS EARLIEST LED INSTALLATIONS, in 1987, Tatsuo Miyajima has been reshaping the timeless and pristine white cube into a black abyss governed by the pulse of our biological clocks. While the Japanese artist is best known for orchestrating digital LED counters into richly varied arrangements—strewn across the floor, installed in geometric patterns on walls, even placed on little robotic cars—the works in his recent installation “Totality of Life” span a wider range of media and incorporate a certain humanist dimension that his earlier installations lacked.

    In the large video projection

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  • Paul Pfeiffer

    The Project

    A SMASH AT BOTH the Whitney Biennial and P.S. 1's “Greater New York” and the inaugural recipient of the Whitney's Bucksbaum Award, Paul Pfeiffer is on everybody's shortlist of discoveries. Expectations were predictably high for his first solo exhibition since last spring's double triumph—but the results were mixed. Like any artist. when Pfeiffer is mediocre, he's mediocre. Unlike most, however, when he's good, he's brilliant.

    The show opened with an oversize bathtub installed complete with tiled walls, plastic curtain, and running shower (all works 2000). The 1:1% scale brought on a pleasant

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  • Alexander Ross

    Feature Inc.

    WITH TWO ACCLAIMED solo shows in two years, Alexander Ross has become his own hard act to follow. Of course, given his highly developed imagery and the reception it has enjoyed, he could have coasted through this exhibition. But Ross is too smart to make the same painting over and over. So while he has not abandoned the tenets of his practice, he has pushed and distorted them in subtle but significant ways. The changes do not entirely work: This group of nine paintings and seven drawings (all Untitled, all except two from 2000) did not fully cohere, and there was an agitated buzz in the images,

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  • Sharon Ya'ari

    Lombard-Fried Projects

    LIVING IN ISRAEL, a country with a painfully acute sense of the mutual dependency of geography and national identity, Sharon Ya'ari is particularly aware of the socially constructed character of the landscape. His new series of photographs, “Last Year,” 2000, portrays the environment beyond the city limits, where the Israeli terrain is open and only sparsely populated. Those few individuals who do appear in the images manage to destabilize what would otherwise be a fairly classical depiction of verdant pastures and rolling hills.

    Ya'ari sets up his shots with a plein-air painter's sensibility

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  • Dieter Appelt

    American-European Art Associates, Inc.

    GERMAN ARTISTS HAVE ALWAYS UNDERSTOOD that the hand is more expressive, particularly of suffering, than the face. Nowhere in the history of Western art are there such eloquent images of anguish as the hands of Mary and John in Lucas Cranach's Crucifixion, 1503, or Mary and Mary Magdalen in the crucifixion scene of Matthias Grünewald's Isenheim Altarpiece, c. 1510-15. Even in such a different image as Otto Dix's 1926 portrait of Ivar von Lücken, each finger of the distressed hand seems to have an agony all its own.

    Dieter Appelt extend; this tradition with his three brilliant series of black-and-white

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  • Marco Maggi

    123 Watts

    MARCO MAGGI'S WORKS have a sense of ethereal expansiveness despite their modest-to-diminutive dimensions. Cryptic inscriptions run all over the Uruguayan artist's metal rulers, rectangles of Plexiglas, sheets of aluminum foil, and real McIntosh apples; conjoined cells of various shapes are filled in with straight lines, dashes, and curlicues; scattered shapes are reminiscent of everything from sails and tents to sword handles and dense enclaves of buildings (in cross-section and bird's-eye views). The effusive script evokes ancient languages as well as aerid maps, bridging medieval cities and

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  • Aziz + Cucher

    Henry Urbach Architecture

    FOR ALMOST A DECADE, Anthony Aziz and Sammy Cucher have explored the materiality and frangibility of the human (or humanoid) body. In their most recent photographic installations, the duo denaturalizes and reconfirm res human skin—complete with freckles, spots, pores, and hair follicles—to form deep, dark architectural spaces, twisted sculptural shapes like pieces of odd furniture, and mutant scientific specimens to be analyzed. These hybrid agglutinations are alternately clinical and fantastic, inviting and disgusting.

    “Interiors,” 1998-2000, the most effective series in Aziz + Cucher's

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  • Sowon Kwon

    Whitney Museum at Philip Morris

    “I LIKE GENERIC, DEADPAN TITLES.” Such was Sowon Kwon's apt comment on her recent installation Two or Three Corridors, 2000, a work christened while the artist was evidently in a '60s state of mind—think of the piece as the indecisive offspring of Richter's Eight Student Nurses, or Ruscha's Twentysix Gasoline Stations, or Kosuth's One and Three Chairs. Kwon's installation itself, however, was structured more in the spirit of Michael Asher's “situational aesthetics,” as the artist displaced a series of works from the collection of the Philip Morris offices to the Whitney's space in the

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