A R T L E T T E R
The Timely Magazine of Art
|#13||<!>previous/ next>!> Artletter index||September 15, 1995|
Ruins at Diverseworks 10/22 A funhouse similar to this Summer's "O" House installation. Evokes a host of vague romantic stereotypes, without ever making its point. All the drywall mud in the world won't change Diverseworks' space into a dungeon, pueblo or Roman ruin. The harder the artists try to create a fantasy (as in the coffee-cup kiva or the "ghost" dining room) the more it looks like the set for a school play. A team of more skilled set designers could have made me believe: either by admitting their fakery and requiring a suspension of disbelief, or by creating a much more seamless illusion. The boxing room is the most effective because it doesn't rely on this transformation for its effect. It succeeds in creating a specific personality for its fictional former occupant, a broken down former champion, by showing us his bed and his few wretched possessions in a space much like the actual building.-B.D. Scott Burns at Gallery One Nine no date It's a great visual party. Humorous regurgitations of the 70's with a Lost in Space/retro feel and a dash of folk art reference. Takes objects from childhood (at least mine) and floats them back at you. A potpourri of techniques: glitter, old bedsheets, cake icing. Each painting has little failures which add to its liveliness. Most artists would tighten it up and ruin it. He openly steals from a lot of different people: Rachel Hecker, Carroll Dunham, Donald Baechler, and the big daddy Sigmar Polke. The camp quality makes me feel as if I'm in Provincetown for the Drag Ball. One of the most alive shows in Houston in a long time. -Louise Cranston Dick Wray at Moody Gallery 10/7 The paint might seem fresh, bold, and vigorous, but the sameness of the compositional elements within individual paintings give away how studied the process really is: one piece has orange lines grid-like throughout, another is all green and arranged with multicolor patches. The wild colors seem chosen only to be very bright, and from painting to painting their impact is always the same. They seem self-indulgent, as if the artist is having more fun than the viewer. The best piece is the one in the alcove in the back of the gallery. There should be a ban on art done over maps, charts, and old letters (see the smaller paintings). -Delfina Address letters to: Bill Davenport, 801 Tulane St., Houston TX 77007 Mail subscriptions $25/year. Look for Artletter 14 on October 1.