We need to understand properly the Americanness of Abstract Expressionism, without treating it either as a triumph of chauvinistic mythmaking or as an episode in the Cold War.
One of the last methods Cheng used included metal that, once it oxidized, existed as a rough surface of rust whose compelling alchemy gave his audience a remarkable exterior to consider. The magic of these pieces results from contrasts in color as well as memorable differences in the finish of the paint and copper.
This adventurous photography survey, pairing historical and contemporary examples of sculptural construction and assemblage as subject matter, includes David Smith, László Moholy-Nagy, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, James Welling, Gregory Crewdson, Thomas Demand and Wolfgang Tillmans.
Just as many Matisse drawings and paintings made in Nice in the 1920s and 30s incorporate a representation of himself making the work of art, so Miller includes images of his working space in his landscapes. The effect is to bring us into the working process.
Nightfall can inspire fascination with the starry sky, optimistic hopes for fulfilled sexual desire, or at least anticipation of sleep. But it can also cause anxiety if you are lonely, which is why van Gogh described The Night Café (1988), at MoMA, as showing a place where “dark forces lurked and suppressed human passions could suddenly explode.”
Was on view until October 25, 2008
Malcolm chooses to photograph leaves of the burdock plant because of its lowly status in the plant world – as a common weed that grows “along roadsides…and around derelict buildings” – and because of its literary status. She notes that Chekhov and Hawthorne have referenced it in their fiction to denote “ruin and desolation” and explains that she prefers “older, flawed leaves to young, unblemished specimens — leaves to which something has happened.”
There is a limited range of drawing styles, which tends to be competent enough but generally stilted, illustrative, and a bit nerdish. One wonders whether the difference in treatment that does come across is purely a matter of the individual draftsman’s hand or whether different speeds of movement in the scenes depicted — orderly placid drudging through dreary East European streets versus violent clashes with riot-geared police in some steamy tropical town — account for these differences.
Al-Hadid has been hooked on towers for several years now, involved in what can be taken as a reverse Watts Towers syndrome — instead of transforming found, non-art materials to create an aspirational edifice, she deploys considerable artistry to depict with a literalist intensity state of the art, fabricated structures in a frozen instant of failure.
After being run through the pressure chamber of Conceptual Art, geometric forms for many artists working today are not indicative of a strict allegiance to any kind of school of non-objective thought or practice. From the storied history laid out in the rooms of “Geo/Metric” it seems that geometry in art has indeed reached its highest accomplishment: the freedom of eternal fresh starts.