In the first of a new series of dispatches from around the US and the world by regular contributors, GREG LINDQUIST charts developments in his native North Carolina
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
Collectively, these sculptures look like death masks cast from Aztec sacrifices. Each embodies the magical absurd-beyond-belief-because-it’s-so-true realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
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.
The art fair is billed as “organized entirely by artists, for artists—and the public’s enjoyment.” What a pleasant change of pace from most of our big art fairs, especially the various Armory Shows, which are organized by dealers and have nothing but booths named for dealers.
His new exhibition, Three Point Turn, is on view through April 27