reviews

Eric Wesley

Bortolami Gallery

That Eric Wesley has distanced himself from institutional critique (characterizing it as “way too serious and noncommittal at the same time”) should come as no surprise. Born in 1973, the LA-based artist belongs to a generation that tends toward extremes when it comes to narrativizing their relationships to artistic legacies, whether by way of fetishization or refusal. Many of these accounts amount to little more than cliché; Wesley has elaborated on his “way too serious” comment by dismissing institutional critique as capable of “no humor, no comedy,” a characterization that hardly matches up with the expanded field of artistic approaches aimed at undermining cultural establishments. One would be hard-pressed to describe the likes of Marcel Broodthaers, Andrea Fraser, or Fred Wilson as dour, while even a cursory acquaintance with Hans Haacke’s oeuvre reveals that it is hardly as somber

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