A R T   L E T T E R

The Timely Magazine of Art

#43 <previous/ next> Artletter index December 15, 1996

Hunt Slonem at Robert McClain and Co.	1/11

Usually it's the painting, not the frame, which gets all the attention, but
Slonem custom-makes trivial impasto bird paintings to match his
collection of weird found frames. They're not good paintings, but criticizing
them seems irrelevant. Like antique store paintings, they exist primarily
for their frames. The name seems vaguely phoney, and the concept is so odd
I suspect a sophisticated hoax.-B.D.

Kyle Young at Hooks Epstein	

DeKooning, Motherwell, Terell James. . . . the parade of gestural abstraction
continues its march. Sensitive lines, swoops and splatters suggest
calligraphy, fruits, or breasts against tasteful moss, melon, apricot and
royal blue backgrounds; beautiful, but not compelling. -B.D.

Duane Michaels at Lynn Goode	1/3

Michaels' photographs have shrunk into illustrations of rambling doggerel.
The two narrative sequences in the show, especially The Coincidence 
retain some of his earlier anecdotal wit.-B.D.

Mark Lombardi at Lawndale	1/11

Artistic fence-sitting. Lombardi's drawings aren't quite interesting enough
to stand up without the pretense of diagramming important political and
economic events, yet fail to actually explain those events clearly. One
pretense deflects criticism from the other; giving a superficial impression
of 1.) elegant, interesting drawing 2.) telling the viewer something more
than "gee! that's really complicated" about global power networks. -B.D.

Show and Tell at Diversework's Subspace	1/4

Caroline Bowles' funky dioramas are miniature morality plays in which toy
animals, people and objects illustrate a didactic message, spelled out in
the pieces' labels. Elisabeth Jackson's paintings are preoccupied with a
coquettish sexuality; linking glamour and pornography in abject,
disturbingly childlike iconic panels. Other works offer an escape into a
purposefully bland space of relaxing bubbles, dots and flowers. Delfina
Vannucci reveals herself in a embarassingly direct way, daring viewers to
approve or judge, alternately confessional and confrontational.-B.D.

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