Physical gesture means the artist’s hand is present yet transcended: there is no question that the arcs or circles are handmade, but an unforced, lyrical all-overness creates a cosmic, suprapersonal sense of order and well-being.
There is a pervasive ambivalence in Katy Grannan’s portraits: the gaze that returns the viewer’s is a mix of coyness and exhibitionism. The images themselves oscillate between similar extremes, building a visceral sense of the present through precision while succumbing to a remoteness that results from theatricality.
As Burri’s retrospective continues at the Guggenheim through January 6, a review from 2008
Merlin James and Thomas Demand might seem as different as two contemporary artists can be. But a coincidence of means begs a comparison between shows of overtly contrastive mood and art-world temper. For both artists make their final images from models of their own making.
Where Yasinsky accesses early girlhood through dolls and dinky illustration technique, McQuilkin seems dedicated to a perpetual state of teenage angst. The specific identification of both with early cinema relates to a broader trend in feminist-influenced art.
These hefty yet open-form, emphatic yet enigmatic assemblages of prefabricated, found, and adapted components show a youthful, spry, curiosity-filled artist at the top of his game.
R.B. Kitaj’s work broke a modernist taboo – before it became fashionable to do so – by being unabashedly literary. Hilton Kramer once complained that his paintings were “littered with ideas.” But as referential as he could be, Kitaj was always a consummately visual artist.
Louise Bourgeois and Lynda Benglis are both inveterate explorers of sculpture’s soggy underbelly. They are doyennes of a dark sexuality and of the nebulous space between the personal and the universal.
Neo is perfectly forenamed for an artist in whom, to paraphrase architectural theorist Charles Jencks, the wasms have become an ism. Rauch’s paintings, fusing elements of romanticism and realism from the last two centuries, resist the idea that anachronism and rejuvenation might be at odds with one another.
LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA 52nd International Exhibition of Art A version of this article first appeared in the New York Sun, June 11, 2007 under the title “Pax American in the Serene Republic” The Venice Biennale has been the Olympics of the visual arts since its inception in 1895. In odd years countries choose their artist…