A R T   L E T T E R

The Timely Magazine of Art

#51 <previous/ next> Artletter index May 1, 1997

The Timely Magazine of Art
#51										May 1, 1997

Response: Core Fellows at the Glassell school					-
We assume your April 1st Houston Artletter (AL#49)reviewing Tina Marrin's work in the Core Fellows' show at Glassell was an April fool's joke. Speaking of "time-wasting activities vividly evoking the introverted creativity of young girls" . . . .crocheting???? It has been reported to us that there is a strong suspicion in the art community that your mother and/or girlfriend does your crocheting? Do you always have to build your career on the backs of women? Now you are taking a young woman's budding career and trying to unravel it? Yes, Tina Marrin's work is shy, quiet, delicate and slight. Evidently her work wasn't filled with enough "eye candy" for you. . (we mean this in a good way). As women, how much of a chance do you think we would have to get a New York show if we quilted? Why do we always have to weld? Love and Bananas-The Gorilla Girls, Houston
Editor's reply: Artletter doesn't usually publish anonymous submissions; however, the Gorilla Girls have a publicly established viewpoint which allows their statements to be taken in context. The Gorilla Girls misunderstand both my review and Marrin's work in thinking that the adjective "time wasting" is a criticism when used to describe Marrin's technique. It is precisely the endless empty, scrawling of magic marker which gives Casual Lady '86  its power. I am sad that the Gorilla Girls think that art which evokes the creativity of young girls is necessarily bad. To clarify the personal innuendo: it has never been a secret that my mother and former girlfriend's sister have done needlework on some of my pieces. I assume that the Gorilla Girls feel that I must refer only to art by men, being a man, and that only women have the right to be interested in or inspired by needlework. Such ghettoization of women's art is self-defeating.- B.D.

Jonathan Rosenstein et al. at Koelsch Gallery					5/3
While it's hard to see what direction the gallery is going in (this is its third incarnation in less than  two years) one wall of sculptures really shines. Jonathan Rosenstein meticulously, obsessively, and maniacally assembles a masses of hardware, tools and various found objects onto small pieces of wood (often with disproportinately large screws and bolts) in a manner that is so formally strict in its aesthetic and so direct in its application that he achieves an odd emotional impact. Every individual object is recognizable, yet I found that I was not making any sort of metaphorical associations to the parts, but succumbing to the power of the object as a whole. Surely this is something new for Houston found object art. -David Aylsworth

Debbie Riddle and Sondra Schwetman at Commerce Street 			5/18
The coda show for CSAW's second pair of artist in residence. Neither grotesque nor titillating, Schwetman's body casts lack any bite at all. Latex mold compond fails to evoke flayed skin, and fiberglass is even less effective. Her best piece is the fiberglass hip and thigh cast used  to hold the iced beer at the opening. Its grim, casual humor is more disturbing than the more literal splatterings, impalings and bindings of the works in the show. Riddle's juxtapositions of newspapers, photos, furniture and carpentry are curiously impenetrable. There is an hint of narrative in each piece which precludes a purely formal reading. An odd sense of incompleteness gives them a waiting quality. They are like stage props waiting for action to complete them, or store window displays without merchandise.-B.D.

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