This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
(25)
The Demoiselles Revisited, But when the images are returned to their
Francis M. naumann Fine Art original size and viewed within the space of a
computer screen, the scenes are once again
It’s not just that this is the penultimate sharpened up and the images regain coherence.
thing I’m writing about, but this group show The ‘art’ of the original image would appear
(recommended by a friend), mostly of pastiches to read through, which to some extent is exactly
whipped up to celebrate the 100th birthday of Ruff’s intention. Our experience of the ‘work’
Picasso’s painting, leaves me wondering why cannot hinge solely upon our direct confrontation
artists would show slapdash jottings based on with it, because the point of Ruff’s project
a monument of mankind’s cultural patrimony. is exactly its interest in mediation. In fact,
it may be safe to say that an experience of
(26) Ruff’s newest work is necessarily incomplete
JUAn DOWney Meditation Drawings, nohra Haime until one is able to see the works in
Gallery reproduction, preferably online.
Which brings me to the end, a show visited and And this: trompe l’oeil is underrated as an
written about in exhaustion, but a joy to have artistic device. (21) IvIn BAllen’s reliefs at
seen. Juan Downey, a Chilean artist who spent the Winkleman Gallery demonstrate just how far
much of his career in the US and died in 1993, this strategy can be pushed, and just how many
lived with the yanomami Indians in the Amazon possibilities remain unexplored. Of course,
in 1976 and 77. every day he meditated, and Ballen’s work could be categorised as relief
afterwards, in a half-trance, made small verging on sculpture, but the exacting way in
drawings, fusions of tantra paintings and pre- which the artist represents plastic, cardboard
Columbian geometric patterns. Spirals, circles, and duct tape in fibreglass, resin and acrylic
eggs, mazes highlighted with coloured pencil. paint reveals a deep intelligence at work:
They swirl and glow. Contemplative, magical, Ballen is both representer and intervener.
personal and universal; unknown to me, and the
kind of show that makes me glad I took the And maybe this: why is it that we have such a
often thankless assignment of slogging through difficult time accepting contemporary political
26-plus galleries trying to find an intelligent art as either aesthetically significant or
thing to say. historically important, at least in the US?
One would think that we should have found our
George Grosz by now, our John Heartfield. We
are in the middle of a war, after all, and we
have been subject to a political administration
that, no matter your politics, has guaranteed
that ‘incompetence’ will be forever be known
as America’s number one export. So where is
the art to match? What is our response? (And
no, this is not a call for incompetent art.)
(22) KARen FInley’s show Nation Building, at
Alexander Gray Associates, seems to suggest
that part of the problem may be generational.
It’s not that younger artists engage politics
in their work, it’s that when they do – even
when they do it well — we dismiss it as the
product of youth’s rebelliousness, of a naive
idealism, which could do with a few more years
slugging it out in the ‘real world’. Finley’s
suite of drawings make contemporary politics
utterly personal: drawn, literally, from
Finley’s dreams, each piece demonstrates just
how deeply saturated the artist’s psychic life
has become with Condi Rice and the Bushes, and
with the way that these and other political
FInISH icons find themselves folded in with the rather
vacuous popular culture that occupies at least
as much of the news cycle as politics: one
drawing imagines ‘Dubya’s’ face tattooed on
Anna nicole Smith’s breasts (after which the
Times runs a story calling George a ‘boob’);
another imagines that, on the matter of cloning,
the President makes an exception for James
Brown. Coming as this does from Finley, who
was in her teens during the height of the
Reviews Marathon.indd 86 7/1/08 16:52:24
Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136  |  Page 137  |  Page 138  |  Page 139  |  Page 140  |  Page 141  |  Page 142
Produced with Yudu - www.yudu.com