San Francisco

Walter Robinson

Catharine Clark Gallery

Exhibition titles are often little more than attention grabbers, but the name of Walter Robinson’s recent show, “Represent,” is actually of some use in pinning down the meaning of the work on view. This word has many definitions (among them “stand for,” as in function as a symbol or metaphor; “act as a representative”; or even as an adjective, “representational,” as in figurative), and these alternate or overlap within individual works as Robinson critiques popular culture, globalization, and the precarious nature of our current political situation.

The most striking work in the show was a life-size rearing stallion, slick and black, pierced with bright red arrows. Its title, St. Sebastian, 2006, alludes to the early Christian martyr customarily portrayed in this way. But why a horse? As it turns out, this particular animal, its mane and tail elaborately articulated, is a dead ringer for

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