• Jennifer Reeder

    Julia Friedman Gallery

    Not so many years removed from having been there herself, Jennifer Reeder is enormously sensitive to the ambiguities of life in high school. Two video-based pieces here were replete with pointed reminders of the many tender vulnerabilities of the teenage years, suggesting the relentless to-and-fro of awkwardness and bluster, adult and child, jammed into the same charged body. A Double Image Both in Focus Simultaneously (I) (all works 2001) is a large DVD projection of a girls’ indoor swim meet. Using, soft dissolves, slow motion, and a dreamy sound track by Texas band Aix Em Klemm, Reeder provides

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  • Alex Katz

    Peter Blum/PaceWildenstein/Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

    Does a painting by Alex Katz have an inner life? Silly question, you say: Of course it does. Any image by a bona fide modern artist has an inner life, and Katz’s credentials on that score are impeccable. The Brooklyn-born, seventy-four-year-old painter studied at places whose names are virtually synonymous with turpentine and canvas (Cooper Union, Skowhegan). Even the move to the flat, cool manner that became his signature proved his modernist chops: In the late ’50s, when Abstract Expressionism was the house style of serious, progressive American painting, Katz went bravely against the grain,

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  • Ben Katchor

    The Jewish Museum

    As Ben Katchor is the first to admit, there’s something counterintuitive, even perverse about a museum exhibition devoted to cartoon strips. Most of what was on view in this show—highlights from twenty years of deadline-sponsored creativity—is readily available, and more comfortable to peruse, in book form. So maybe the point was to encourage viewers to scrutinize the subtleties in the original drawings—to savor, for instance, careful archipelagoes of Wite-Out, lost in reproduction and now lustrously visible? Devoted Katchor fans could spend hours indulging in this kind of

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  • David Korty

    Greene Naftali Gallery

    David Korty is quickly gaining a reputation for paintings imbued with the woozy atmospherics of Los Angeles, city of smog and sunshine. Recently, however, he has branched out to include scenes from Chicago and New York, for his first solo show in the latter city—calming compositions, notwithstanding their Day-Glo colors and hallucinogenic vibe.

    The first, busiest painting, Museum of Natural History (all works 2001), is set in the New York landmark’s Hall of Biodiversity. Two blue-shadow human figures stand out against a splendid tapestry of life forms (yet are separated from the display by

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  • Alberto Giacometti

    MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art

    For those who have never been to the Giacometti Foundations in either Zurich or Basel, the current retrospective at the Museum of Modem Art is filled with riches: Many of the plaster works never translated into wood or bronze, nor ever seen outside Switzerland because of their extreme fragility, are now assembled with the Modern’s walls. By insisting on these works, which are shown in force, the exhibition seems intent on righting the wrong done so consistently to Giacometti when scholars and critics extract the artist from the milieu of his contemporaries (such as Brancusi or André Breton) to

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  • “A Private Reading: The Book as Image and Object”

    Senior & Shopmaker Gallery

    This crowded and pleasantly fusty show presented not artists’ books but artworks premised on the idea of the book as a cultural form, a prism refracting conceptual, formal, psychological, and historical meaning. Fifty-five pieces by thirty-five artists were on view; not surprisingly, emphasis fell on assemblage, photography, and works on paper, with modest dimensions and subdued palettes predominating. “The book as image and object” is a loose designation, and certain items seemed to have been chosen more for their maker’s name than for intrinsic wit or wisdom regarding visuality, textuality,

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  • Tim Litzmann

    Mary Boone Gallery | Uptown

    Tim Litzmann lists the medium of his pictures as “acrylic/cast acrylic,” and at first I wondered whether this wordplay meant he had developed a way to set acrylic paint in a solid sheet, to which he then strategically applied acrylic in its usual form-making paint both the medium and the support. That way the works’ color would actually constitute their very stuff, rather than remain a superficial veneer laid over another material. In fact, though, cast acrylic seems to be a Plexiglas-like substance, which Litzmann cuts to size. Then he paints the back in one color and the object’s bare

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  • Wayne Gonzales

    Paula Cooper Gallery | 529 West 21st Street

    By addressing the complex relation between photography and the construction and dissemination of history, Wayne Gonzales’s new work inserts itself in what appears to be a burgeoning genre: post-photographic history painting. Taking the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy as their point of departure, these photo-derived acrylics (all 2001) recall other recent art that has tackled politically weighty subject matter—Gerhard Richter’s 18. Oktober 1977 paintings, Luc Tuymans’s Belgian Congo series, and, perhaps most pointedly, Andy Warhol’s own chronicles of the Kennedy assassination.

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  • João Onofre

    I-20 Gallery

    Now that video art has evolved (or degenerated) to the point that it simulates the slickness of television or film, it’s sometimes difficult to remember that video started out as an “alternative” medium—a means of creating art that would employ mass-media technology while standing apart from its machinations. Many early video projects were performance based, featuring artists whose appearance and delivery were strictly unprofessional: deadpan, stiff, unactorly (think of Martha Rosler’s feminist kitchen tutorials. loan Jonas’s body-centered videos, or Bruce Nauman’s water stunts). Although

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  • Gelatin

    Leo Koenig Inc. | 541 West 23rd

    The Austrian collective Gelatin was supposed to open its New York show on September 11. About two weeks later, after some hesitation over whether to proceed, it launched “Habitat Tour 2001” with the first of three Thursday evening lectures-cum-performances that accompanied a room-size installation. This “habitat” was outfitted with a large work table and four bunk beds; the walls were covered with images of the Gelatin boys naked, album covers, cartoons lampooning Michael Jackson, and clips from pornographic magazines collaged, Berlin Dada style, with other images, heads placed on different

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  • Amy O'Neill

    Spencer Brownstone Gallery

    Installation art is in a precarious state. It has been criticized in recent years of cultivating a kind of blasé site-specificity that caters to the demands of large-scale exhibition organizers needing to fill space and provide a temporary spectacle—for being what Peter Schjeldahl calls “festival art.” At the same time, it’s been around long enough to be open to parody at the hands of a younger generation. Specifically ripe for analysis is the strain of installation that deals with historical reenactment in that deals with historical reenactment in the manner of Ilya Kabakov. Amy O’Neill’s

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  • Fernanda Gomes

    Baumgartner Gallery

    On entering Fernanda Gomes’s second New York solo show, the viewer was immediately confronted by a large metal scaffold on which the artist had placed various found objects. By far the most physically imposing work on display, this structure (all works untitled, 2001) nonetheless epitomizes Gomes’s concerns—the most obvious and important of these being the way works of art engage with their surroundings. Standing under a skylight whose rectangular shape it reiterated, the scaffold rhymed perfectly with the beams of the gallery’s exposed wooden ceiling. Moreover, situated as it was directly

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  • William Baziotes

    Joseph Helman

    At the start of his career, around 1932-33, William Baziotes made a drawing that, in light of the gentle, haunting, lyrical works for which he later became known, one would never associate with him: a rather expressionistic flagellation scene. A mean old woman is whipping a pretty young girl, who seems to be enjoying it. The two figures are locked together in a single tight curve like a boomerang. What’s most striking about the image, as this survey of works on paper from 1930-62 makes clear, is that, the form is the ancestor of all those delicious, meandering curves and bends we see throughout

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