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symbol of all that had been useful but was smith’s Untitled (Congratulations) (2007), a
swept away in the mechanised rush to war? The series of 38 glass vases placed in an incomplete
irony that during its postwar economic boom grid on the floor with a bouquet of irises
Germany had once more placed its faith in occupying a single one, demonstrates just how
industrial production and soul-numbing deafeningly mute the readymade can be. Anglès’s
conformity? These oversize contraptions, which Open Edition eQX (2007) takes this reticence
lack all function, seem both menacing and to an extreme in its offering of free newsprint
impotent, suggesting all of the above. No broadsheets that have been run through presses
wonder Klapheck wrings both humour and pathos without any typeset. The result is a mostly
from them. blank print-run, with the occasional palimpsest
of previous editions bleeding through.
(11)
ChrisTopher Wool Pattern Paintings,
1987–2000, skarstedt Gallery
like so much of Andy Warhol and Donald Baechler,
Christopher Wool’s pattern paintings look like
the efforts of someone playing on the Xerox
machine or learning to silkscreen. rendered in
black media that seem to float on large sheets
of paper or white aluminium, they have a
flatness that telegraphs reproduction. But the
drips in those flower motifs and the
misregistration of screens in those leaves
reveal the hand behind the mechanical. still,
the scroll motif in one resembles the wrought-
iron quatrefoils of the gallery’s street door
in an unfortunate coincidence.
in addition to adding a human touch, however,
the slips make the visually satisfying passages
in the work seem (almost) accidental.
occasionally Wool will spray-paint sections of
a work or apply wide strokes of white through
which the black patterns below remain hazily
discernible. such interventions add a level of
pictorial depth, but his work still seems a
bit a like Cady Noland’s, minus the figural
and conceptual slap. The fact that the sheets are free, with
subscriptions available too, points up Anglès’s
(12) interest in manipulating standard circuits of
Jules oliTsKi The Late Paintings, exchange: each work is ‘sold’ according to
a Celebration, Knoedler & Company certain site- or rather exhibition-specific
pricing ‘algorithms’. We’ve seen this kind of
olitski’s last paintings – the pioneer of thing from seth price, but whereas price may
colour-field painting died in February 2007 – be a bit more academic, even didactic, Anglès’s
are a maddening mix of slop and glop and assured work is, well, more ‘open’, which means it’s
technique. All the works are heavy with paint, vulnerable to all sorts of unthought
and in the larger canvases, pools and eddies permutations and evolutions, both more and
of intensely saturated hues play off areas of less ‘fit’ for the current market landscape,
matte colour, while fissures in the surface which means it may – but only potentially –
reveal complementary tones below. several have more to say in the end.
pictures recall landscapes, as if the artist
had depicted protean flows of lava or matter of course there is another way to avoid or
exploding during the Big Bang. But given their short-circuit discourse, and that’s to
crustiness, they seem more about material than interrupt the brain’s own electrochemical
form. signals, something that (8) pAul shAriTs tried
to do with Epileptic Seizure Comparison (1978),
lacking this density, the smaller paintings a 16mm-film dual projection installation at
don’t engage the eye; and the problem with the Greene Naftali. sharits is perhaps best known
larger ones is that the novelty of their as one of p. Adams sitney’s ‘structural’
technical bravura wears off. There’s a question filmmakers, a loose grouping of artists who
to be raised in all the shows by midcareer and took film to its avant-garde extremes during
late-career artists i’ve seen on this crawl: the late 1960s. Though Tony Conrad, another
how do they keep from producing technically new and welcome Greene Naftali ‘find’, produced
proficient clichés of their former one of the first self-conscious ‘flicker’ films
innovations? – called – what else? – The Flicker – in 1966,
Reviews Marathon.indd 72 7/1/08 16:49:05
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