A R T   L E T T E R

The Timely Magazine of Art

#45 <previous/ next> Artletter index February 1, 1997

Sorry for missing the January 15th issue !

Joyce Pensato at Diverseworks	3/15

Wait, have we had enough of cartoon characters yet? Interesting painting and scraping techniques
and the use of enamel on linen enhanced work that otherwise would have been passe.- Greg Tramel

Stella in the Studio at UofH's Blaffer Gallery	3/23

By far the most interesting aspect of Stella in the Studio  was watching the hoopla when one of the
mastodons of 20th c. art comes to town. Even if the maquettes had been carefully constructed the
show would still have been the same old wornout Stella repertoire. The collage maquette for the
Princess of Wales theater was a hideous conglomeration of milk crates, leftover posterboard, and
amateur marbleizing. A spiral sketchbook on display was reminiscent of unambitious junior high
doodlings. Some of the maquettes were for unrealized projects. We can only hope they stay that
way.- Greg Tramel

David Aylsworth at Inman Gallery	2/15

The larger paintings absentmindedly shed virtuoso passages of color and surface as they pursue an
almost collagist obsession with the way one layer of paint interrupts, overlaps or erases another.
Superficially superficial, Aylsworth's best works win at a dicey game: disarming the pretension
of pure painting by playing it off corny hidden homoerotic imagery. The Billy Roses and
Puccini's, Aylsworth's calligraphic sperm mural, is too silly to take seriously, but too beautiful
to laugh at.-B.D.

Royal Art Lodge at U of H's Small Projects Gallery	2/15?

If I found these drawings in a thriftstore, I'd save about four.-B.D.

Sol Lewitt at Rice art gallery                                  4/13 and 3/2 

Peering through the windows of the gallery, I thought: Sol Lewitt has sold out to art as religion!
But walking in, I was reassured. If anything the room, with its contemplative bench on one end
and dark solitary square on the other, is a parody of the Rothko Chapel. No attempt at spirituality
here: you see what you get; three sets of black squares, one glossy, one matt, on three walls:
separated, touching, and merged -and if it's spiritual, well, that's just a byproduct.  A simple
demonstration of how two surfaces set up different spatial illusions; progressing from simplicity
to complexity, culminating in the central square which seems the most 3D.  The Styrofoam Piece,
an interior deco scheme bathed in unnecessarily dim yellow light, acknowledges its own goofiness,
but not quite enough. Over at the architecture school, annoyingly clever fractured planes play
different shades of white against each other -they're not called Complex Forms  for nothing.  I
enjoyed these glossy space-age icebergs for their contrast with the never-wear-out chocolate
brown plastic floor.-Francesca Fuchs 

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Lawndale, Glassell School, Inman Gallery, Menil Store, CAM Store, Brazil Cafe,
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