DAVID COHEN, Editor           
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SEPTEMBER 2008


posted 9/29/2008 
DAVID COHEN on Rirkrit Tiravanija: Demonstration Drawings at the Drawing Center

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.


posted 9/29/2008
DAVID COHEN on Diana Al-Hadid at Perry Rubenstein

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.


posted 9/22/2008 
CATHY NAN QUINLAN on Judy Glantzman at Betty Cuningham

Drawing and painting alternate in an extremely fluid and unusual way in these works. Has a painter ever been compared to Aretha Franklin, the way she can be talking one moment and singing the next?


posted 9/22/2008 
DAVID COHEN on Robert Bordo at Alexander and Bonin

The diversity of this show, which finds its unity in values rather than effects, is another of its strengths. There is a wide divergence in terms of palette, texture, focus, and scale, but consistency in the depth of pleasure these canvases strike in the materiality of paint and the way its manipulations arbitrate the space between representation and experience.


posted 9/22/2008 
PIRI HALASZ on The Governor's Island Art Fair, organized by 4Heads Collective

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.


posted 9/22/2008 
NORA GRIFFIN on Geo/Metric : Prints and Drawings from the Collection, at the Museum of Modern Art

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.


posted 9/14/2008 
DAVID COHEN on John Ashbery and Trevor Winkfield at Tibor de Nagy and Mario Naves at Elizabeth Harris

Is there something intrinsic to the appeal of collage to writers — to moving bits of paper around in startling, revelatory juxtapositions? The coincidence of two shows of collages by writers of markedly different ilk – a sometime poet laureate and a member of the third estate – begs the question.


posted 9/14/2008
JONATHAN GOODMAN on Su Xinping at ChinaSquare

One does not want to exaggerate Su’s gloom, but an unspoken anguish works its way into most of his art. His paintings beckon toward an isolation that is as moral as it is esthetic, so completely existential is its underpinnings.


posted 9/14/2008 
COLLEEN ASPER on 'IF LOVE COULD HAVE SAVED YOU, YOU WOULD HAVE LIVED FOREVER' Curated by Becky Smith at Bellwether

Like the bastard twin of metaphysics, we want art to tell us the meaning of it all.


posted 9/14/2008 
SANDRA SIDER on Rosie Lee Tompkins at the National Museum of Women in the Arts

Roberta Smith has referred to Tompkins’s quilts as “pictorial powerhouses,” an apt description since the energetic color in these surfaces virtually spins the quilts off the wall—as if Anni Albers were inspired by the Jitterbug. 


posted 9/8/2008
JONATHAN GOODMAN on Nature Interrupted, curated by Elga Wimmer, at the Chelsea Art Museum

Artists, like everyone else in the world, are worried about the consequences of global warming in the natural world; moreover, they realize that the damage is psychic and imaginative as well as terribly real


posted 8/29/2008
DAVID COHEN on Phoebe Washburn at Zach Feuer

Because it is a zany exploration of progress and decay, this is a work that, by its very nature, will unfold and only fully realize itself with the passage of time


posted 9/7/2008
DAVID CARRIER on Katya Mezhibovskaya at Chashama ABC 

Mezhibovskaya’s art is the most devastating commentary on Art Since 1900 and the most original supplement to Duchamp’s ready mades and Danto’s commentary on Brillo Box that I have had the pleasure to discover.


posted 9/7/2008
DAVID COHEN on Philip Pearlstein at Betty Cuningham

Ostensibly, the subject of his relentless scrutiny over the last four decades has been the nude in the interior, and yet, for all the pounds of flesh and claustrophobic constructions of actual, lived in and worked in space these pictures present, the paintings are imbued with such a denial of emotion, connection or purposeful activity as to rob them of the defining characteristics of the interior genre.