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

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