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(13) Sharits made the structure of alternating light
Bridget riley Recent Paintings and Gouaches, and dark film frames something of his signature,
PaceWildenstein, 32 east 57th Street with works such as N:O:T:H:I:N:G (1968) and
and 534 West 25th Street T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G (1968). like these earlier
films, Epileptic Seizure Comparison assaults
For example, Bridget riley, master of Op art, the audience with strobelike flashing footage
who continues to experiment with eye-popping of two epileptic seizures and what sounds like
patterns but, judging by her newer paintings a high-pitched screeching drone. the setup is
and gouaches, has become formulaic. you see immersive, and the effect is hypnotic and
her working the same motifs, altering the repulsive. Whether one’s consciousness is
colours in her leafy, Matisse-cutout-like rendered epileptic, as Sharits had hoped, is
compositions. in one case the result is light beside the point. What is for certain is that
and vibrant, in another more plodding. Clearly faced with this onslaught of image, light and
riley is adept at, and devoted to, mining this sound, there is no thinking at all.
territory; but couldn’t one achieve the same
shifts with a graphic-design program? there is likely a segue here that could serve
as a quick dismissal of (9) HugH WaltOn’s
(14) videos at Clementine, which show the unmelting
dOuglaS gOrdOn Self-Portrait of You + Me, of frozen alphabet soup, or urine, into words
After the Factory, gagosian gallery, and phrases such as ‘totally fucked’ and
Madison avenue ‘pissed’. But the footage, however inane, is
somewhat mesmerising, as time runs in reverse
the initial effect of douglas gordon’s show is and the block-letter forms slowly reconstitute
stunning. Just off the elevator you encounter themselves.
two works composed of images culled from Warhol
that the artist burned and affixed to mirrors.
those fragmentary Jackies and that singed
empire State Building bear the force of our
collective traumas.
then you come upon the main room, painted and
carpeted in black, in which a veritable
catalogue of defaced Warhols confront you from
shimmering, reflective mounts. at best this
stuff smacks of affichistes like Mimmo rotella.
at worst, it reeks of window dressing.
(15–17)
Kara WalKer My Complement, My Enemy, My
Oppressor, My Love and JaCOB laWrenCe’s
Migration Series Selections from the Phillips
Collection, Whitney Museum of american art;
and rOMare Bearden A Black Odyssey,
dC Moore gallery…
Perhaps it’s time to return to painting. as
the louis/Steir pairing i hope made clear,
contemporary painting must take very seriously
how paint actually makes it onto canvas. (10)
MagnuS PleSSen possesses one of the more
individual methods of doing just this, while
at the same time finding the kind of mundane
subject matter and imagery that seems to fit
his wide, scraping strokes. (Somewhere along
the way to this show at Barbara gladstone,
Plessen also lost the ‘von’ that used to precede
his last name; perhaps the process of refining
his stroke required some nominal honing as
well.) Somewhere, perhaps in reference to
Francis Bacon, gilles deleuze notes how, for
the painter, the canvas is never blank, but is
rather always already full of the images and
history that accrue to that privileged two-
dimensional space. it is the painter’s task to
scrape away, to ‘excavate’, all of this
sedimentation in order to get at the ‘painting’
Reviews Marathon.indd 74 7/1/08 16:49:39
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