A R T L E T T E R
The Timely Magazine of Art
|#16||<!>previous/ next>!> Artletter index||November 1, 1995|
Alan Rath at the CAM 11/12 Video monitors displaying taunting mouths or a single eye, mocking and silly, are attached to hoses or machines, giving the video facial parts real life bodies. In one instance a tongue is connected to a joystick you can control. A monitor squeezed in a vise displays a pained, vibrating face. This work is seductive in its comical flippancy and unassailable execution, but is there anything more here than wow-cool?-Delfina Das Pop at Moody Gallery 11/18 Guillaume Paris' plastic-encased sausages are disgusting and funny, evoking the suffocating isolation of the commercially packaged good life. Chris Hogg's xerographs pretend to cultural critiques they don't fulfill: a man in stylish winter clothing is supposed to represent the smug certainties of the bourgeoisie, but it just isn't working. Hogg aims for the same visual propaganda he is commenting on but fails to get his point across with anything approaching the clarity of commercial advertising. Joe Allen's slick media-style images are clearer, encoding the standard concepts of left-wing revisionist art history about the "fascism of images". Sony=Nazi? perhaps, but Allen adds little to what is essentially a critical debate. David Szafranski repeats the same tired lawnchair weavings in every material available, hoping something will hit. The Marabou feathers do. Martha Bush's fragile, emotional objects show the alienation of modern life in a more personal way, inviting the viewer to share a place on the tiny beds, the tent or the house.-B.D. Jackie Tileston at Lawing Gallery 12/2 In spite of their seeming boldness, these paintings are gutless! There is not one unpredictable moment: each piece has a designated palette, a balanced composition. There is no sense of a concerted attempt at achieving anything in particular, besides completing a piece of ART. Saccharine impressionist backgrounds (waterlilies) are apologized for with slack, carefully messy glops and spills. The 112 tiny paintings in the back room give the artist away: they read like a revue of abstract-painting cliches: dots, blobs, lines, ab-ex, geometric/organic line drawings. This is exactly what you would do if you were stuck in painting class for the afternoon and didn't have any ideas. Most of these sketches could not stand up alone, and the fact they're in the gallery at all is indicative of a lack of tough judgment.-Delfina & B.D. Address letters to: Bill Davenport, 801 Tulane St., Houston TX 77007 Mail subscriptions $25/year. Look for Artletter 17 on November 15.