A R T L E T T E R
The Timely Magazine of Art
|#29||<!>previous/ next>!> Artletter index||May 15, 1996|
Richard Long at the CAM ends 6/30 Long's works act as a travel diary, evoking beautiful natural settings through souvenirs and maps. Tinged with nostalgia and good taste, the CAM has been transformed into a shrine to nature under the guise of conceptualism. Long structures nature by walking across it, mapping it and by literally reconfiguring the arrangement of natural objects, both in the gallery and on-site, but what has he added to our understanding of these objects and places? The impression is one of generic nature worship, and the beauty and import of the show flow not from the artist but from his subject. Interesting rocks and driftwood remain interesting when seen in a gallery or arranged in a circle. The mud drawings sway too close to the soft-headed shamanism Long is usually restrained enough to conceal.-B.D. Hybrid Vigor: Kirk McCarthy and Jackie Tileston at the CAM 6/30 With the obvious pairing of these offensively coordinated artists, a choice indicative of a curious Martha Stewart curatorial logic, complete with matching colored signage inside and out, one wonders if interior decoration wouldn't be a more prudent profession for this curator. This show is laughable in its predictability. Tileston's paintings, supposedly made while channeling, are academic illustrations of a half-baked understanding of postmodern painting. One wonders why she couldn't channel anyone other than an art grad student, circa 1987. Kirk McCarthy: Where's the beef? All form and no content makes for dull work. His formally elementary, candy colored forms, as if props for disabled kids, would please a three year old, but hold no adult interest. Generic titles reinforce the work's lack of thought. This show illustrates the CAM's ever-clearer pedestrian mentality towards art and the public, which is insulting to both.-Jeff Elrod Linda Galway Ott at Purse Bldg. Studios 5/30 Ott confuses universality with vagueness in a series of arty works on paper which obliquely refer to sexuality, the bible, etc. . . without ever coming to the point. These works are stifled by convention: life-drawing class charcoal gestures, yellowed faux-antique patina, and trite symbols are jumbled into a semblance of serious art.-B.D. Artletter is available the 1st and 15th of every month at Brazos Books, Lawndale, Glassell, Inman Gallery, Menil Store, CAM Store, Brazil Cafe. Address letters to: Bill Davenport, 801 Tulane St., Houston TX 77007 Mail subscriptions $15/year. Look for Artletter 30 on June 1.