reviews

  • Mark Lombardi

    The Drawing Center

    Mark Lombardi (1951–2000) set out to arm people with information so they might form nuanced political opinions. Having early on discovered a hunger to lay out in exhaustive detail the dismaying network of connections among corporations, governments, and financial institutions, the Texas-born artist developed an idiosyncratic means of mapping the gist of his research with gracefully interconnected curves and circles in pencil on paper. In several drawings from the series World Finance Corporation, Miami, ca. 1970–84, 1994–99, mutual interest is traced in graphite among the WFC, Colombian drug

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  • Gabriel Orozco

    Marian Goodman Gallery | New York

    Typically Gabriel Orozco operates as flaneur and bricoleur, with a fugitive, arranger’s touch (oranges or cans of cat food strategically placed and photographed; mobiles made of toilet paper, dryer lint, and plastic bags). But he has also produced some expensive, highly finished things (a reconfigured Citroën DS automobile; a full-size, pocketless billiard table). At the core, Orozco’s sculptural concerns are patrimony from ever-generous Old Uncle Marcel—eros, humor, motion, game theory, a backhandedly voluptuous insistence on mixing accident with intentionality, appropriating commodity objects

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  • Oliver Payne and Nick Relph

    GBE (Modern)

    Creating a modest, more charming, and less tabloid-hungry brand of sensation with a series of short films they’ve made with friends and each other over the past couple of years, Londoners Oliver Payne and Nick Relph are the unanimously hailed first new kids of the post-YBA moment. In productions like Driftwood, 1999, and Mixtape, 2002, stylish, intimate, music-driven portraits of a generation under siege by youth culture intuit ways of being in a city (and on camera) where escape routes from corporate time and space seem less and less navigable. Their latest production, Gentlemen, 2003, inhabits

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  • Steve Wolfe

    Luhring Augustine | Chelsea

    Apropos of nothing, I wonder who wrote the book of love. Really! I do! Could it be Steve Wolfe? Certainly his books are lovingly made, which is promising—yet something in them is mute and withholding. Ain’t that always the way.

    Wolfe makes copies of books—not as writing (like Borges’s Pierre Menard, who composes his own Don Quixote) but as thing. Wolfe’s artworks duplicate familiar editions of favorite literature, but they are dormant objects. While they may well be hollow, I imagine them as solid: Their materials are stuffs like wood, particle-board, and galvanized steel, and despite the oil

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  • Kelley Walker

    Paula Cooper Gallery | 529 West 21st Street

    For artists from Francisco de Goya to Cady Noland, images of disaster and systemic social brutality have served as conduits for writing history and for soothsaying—at once reminders of what has passed and forecasts of the future. Perhaps it’s no surprise that a media-savvy über-company like Benetton also attempted, beginning with its notorious ’80s advertisements, to harness and cash in on this power of the abject and the horrible (not to mention the taboo).

    The company describes its controversial campaigns as a “means of communication” and as “expressions of our time.” In his first solo show,

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  • Frank Moore

    Sperone Westwater

    The extensive recent exhibition of Frank Moore’s last paintings and selected earlier works revealed an obsessive intelligence offset by a dewy-eyed (if winking) indulgence in over-the-top fantasy and shameless kitsch. Moore, who died of AIDS in 2002 at age forty-eight, employed an elementary school affability toward ends both macabre and slapstick, expressive of the vast humor required to grapple meaningfully with such tropes of our contemporary apocalypse as wanton materialism, the degradation of the biosphere, disease, and the Faustian bargains struck in the biological sciences.

    One of Moore’s

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  • Shirazeh Houshiary

    Lehmann Maupin | New York, W 22 Street

    Poised between aestheticism and asceticism, Shirazeh Houshiary’s delicate, elusive new canvases are marvels of formal restraint and rigor that manage to generate extravagantly seductive perceptual effects. Her recent show—dominated by a suite of large-scale black or white monochromes illuminated with feathery passages of contrasting pen or pencil—is evidence of progress in a conceptual program the artist once characterized as following a trajectory “from form to formlessness.”

    The Iranian-born, London-based Houshiary is usually associated with the British “New Object” sculptors (including Tony

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  • Jay DeFeo

    Whitney Museum of American Art

    You won’t find Jay DeFeo, a San Francisco painter who became active in the early ’50s, included in many anthologies of feminist art—at least not yet. But her interest in painting as an extension of her body, as something both radiant and abject, as both manageable and not, situates her in a singular position within her milieu. She was included in Dorothy Miller’s influential “Sixteen Americans” of 1959 at the Museum of Modern Art, yet her relative obscurity is confirmed by the Whitney’s small, posthumous exhibition: Fifteen years after her death, this is her first New York museum show. DeFeo’s

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  • Maria Elena González

    Art in General

    When a home becomes inaccessible or is destroyed, remembering it can be a poignant exercise. Such an act of memory is a fact of life for much of humanity, given the magnitude of contemporary immigration and displacement. Maria Elena González’s understated, post-Minimalist work often references her own biography; like Eva Hesse and Roni Horn, she interlards the vocabulary of Minimalism with personal detail and uses media that purposely avoid the sanctity of the “specific object.” Loss clings to her work (an earlier sculpture of two tiled stools referenced her deceased parents), and her materials

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