art show

Back to The Wall (pt 2)

no-20.JPG Glen Sacks-"Used Bikes"-$150 - Dimensions in inches(L x W), 11 x 8 ½

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Joan Criswelll-Untitled Etching-Mixed Media-$100 - Dimensions in inches(L x W), 17 ½ x 12

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Richard Brachman-"Guiness"-$150 - Dimensions in inches(L x  W), 10 ½ x 18 3/8

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Susan Stoltz-"T-Lady"- 4 block wood cut-$300 - Dimensions in inches(L x W), 12 ½ x 9 1/2

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Angela Valeria-"The Etruscans"- Glasse monoprint-$150 - Dimensions in inches(L x W), 10 x 13 1/4

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Alessandra Nichols- "Trees"- Acrylic-$300 pair - Dimensions in inches(L x W), 11 x 5 3/8

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Olivia Beens-$300 - Dimensions in inches(L x W x D), 6 ¼ x 8 ½ x 5 1/4

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Vanessa Rivera- $150 - Dimensions in inches(L x W x D), 11 ¾, x 11 ¾ x 1

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Nancy Rakoczy- "Study One"-Plastic and Cloth-$150 - Dimensions in inches(L x W x D), 7 7/8 x 5 7/8 x 1 3/8

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Joy Walker-"Pink Lover"-Acrylic and plastic-$300 - Dimensions in inches(L x W x D), 11 ¾ x 15 7/8 x 3/4

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Richard Armijo-"Blonde Retro"-$250 - Dimensions in inches(L x W x D), 11 7/8 x 8 7/8 x 3/4

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Shari Diamond-"Holding Not having"-Archival inkjet-$75 - Dimensions in inches(L x W), 9 5/8 x 14 1/2

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Eric Ginsberg-$225 - Dimensions in inches(L x W x D), 9 7/8 x 9 7/8 x 3/4

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Kazuko Miyamoto-"Three Legs"-Water Color-$250 - Dimensions in inches(L x W), 17 ½ x 7

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Susanne Kessler-untitled-$250 - Dimensions in inches(L x W), 14 x 10

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Neddie Heller-"Star Child"-$300 - Dimensions in inches(L x W x D), 10 x 11 x 1/

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Wan Ling Li- Untitled-Thread and glue-$250 - Dimensions in inches(L x W x D),  13 ¼ x 11 x 7 1/2

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Gulshen Chalik-Book-$250 - Dimensions in inches(L x W x D), 7 7/8 x 5 ¼ x ¾  (plus 21 inch thread)

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Liz Val-"Big Red Painting"-$300 - Dimensions in inches(L x W x D), 7 x 5 x 1/2

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Fran Kornfeld-"Nascence"-$180 - Dimensions in inches(L x W x D), 10 ¾ x 8 7/8 x 1 3/8

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Jeanette Arnone-"Into the Abyss You Go"-$150 – Dimensions in inches (L x W x D), 11 x 9 x 1 3/8

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Jide Ojo-"Goldstone"-NFS - Dimensions in inches(L x W x D), 11 ½ x 9 ½ x 1 5/8

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Robin Esposito-Self Portrait-$300 - Dimensions in inches(L x W x D), 15 7/8, 11 3/4 x 1 3/8

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Diane Bowen-"Heart of the Monster"-$250 - Dimensions in inches(L x W x D), 4 x 7 x 1/4

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Monica DeVries Gohlke-Mars-etching-$250 - Dimensions in inches(L x W x D), 13 x 9 7/8 x 3/4 Monica De

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Good Housekeeping

There is a dominant notion alive in the art world today that in our over-educated visual artists inevitably simply repeat (with minor changes) work that has already been done. Whatever credibility this idea may have as a blanket assertion, it certainly misses the mark in many individual cases, such as that of the artists, Emily Bicht and Fay Ku, whose work appeared in the recent “Good Housekeeping" show at Tribes Gallery. Both of them consciously echo themes from earlier art but add a new .level of consciousness to their creations, necessarily so, since part of their practice is to reflect on how this earlier work was received, which, naturally, would have been impossible for its creators.

Late Observations on "The Downtown Show: The New York Art Scene 1974-1984"

I want to look back for a moment at the "Downtown Show" that took place earlier this year and which focused on the New York hipster art scene from 1974 to 1984. The accompanying material and the organization of the show made a big point of the fact that the artists of the time played fast and loose with the boundaries between the styles of high and popular art. However, something of much greater importance was another type of violation of this border to which the show alluded. .

Communique Art Show

It is fashionable in art criticism to take the most bland, inoffensive work and, by means of tortured reasoning, prove that it is politically charged and provocative. Take, for example, premier critic Robert Morgan's description of Kim MacConnel's work. To the uninformed viewer, his paintings resemble beautifully decorated, rhythmic wallpaper. According to Morgan, in his The End of the Art World, as MacConnel's "approach to patterned ornamentation developed into the seventies, it became more ideological, specifically in its allusion to arts and crafts. The history of the Arts and Crafts movement in England... was a history of the defiance of standardization."

Think about what this interpretation presupposes. 1) That the viewer, seeing MacConnel's work, which has no allusions to the British movement in it, will, nonetheless, immediately relate these designs to that different time and place. And even if that connection were invariably made, which seems hardly plausible, then, 2) the mere allusion to a previous, outdated political movement makes the current work itself political.

This is not meant as a jibe against Morgan, a fine critic in many ways, but as a representative example of how mainstream critics often desperately try to promote decorative fancies as cutting political statements. It may well be that this is done because any kind of really politically engaged work is barred from the galleries and museums that are these critics' beat.

Things are different, of course, in the more iconoclastic, fringe galleries, such as that of Gathering of the Tribes, where the show Communiqué exhibits art that take no spelunker to finds its political depths.

This is not to say that what is on display is work of the agit-prop variety in which a particular person or policy is lambasted. Such art tends to quickly pale as its specific allusions are forgotten. Rather, this art is political in viewing the world as a fraught public concern in which the answer to our prayers and problems will arise through a firm collective address to social issues. In other terms, from this perspective the artist's job is simply to focalize the most demanding current issues in a hard-hitting way, whether with wry irony (as in the work of David Sandlin and Tim Slowinski), puckish cartooning (as in the work of Shalom), or with a more allusive but still demonstrative style (as seen in a photo work by Toyo).

To give you a whirlwind tour of what I mean, we'll begin with Sandlin. In his untitled triptych, there is a sad historical succession, moving from a grotesque Garden of Eden where a baby looks on as two lions copulate in the lap of a lumpy elephant to a last picture where the baby and his fellows, maintaining the same lighthearted innocence, stand at the edge of a swampy battlefield, which has a burning city on the horizon and a squadron of marching babes in arms in the near distance. Given the centrality of infants in these depictions, the suggestive moral would seem to be that children will gleefully adapt to whatever world we provide and will, with equal fervor, observe animals' lovemaking, make mudpies or trash foreign countries.

Equally grotesque, if more allegorically clear, is Slowinksi's "Uncle Frank's War Dance." Here an overweight, sweaty and salivating Uncle Frank, decked out in red, white, and blue togs and holding a small missile as if it were an all-day sucker, shuffles woefully along to a patriotic band containing such mismatched minstrels as an American Indian, a cat, and Abe Lincoln on zither. If there is some caricature of our current leaders' tendencies to beat war drums on the slightest pretext, the oil also contains another edge in how it exposes the pitiable side of this spectacle. While nasty, Uncle Frank is also pathetic, a middle-aged, out-of-shape slimeball trying to replicate a macho posture appropriate to a young hunk.