A R T   L E T T E R

The Timely Magazine of Art

#54 <previous/ Artletter index August 1, 1997

The Timely Magazine of Art
#54											August 1, 1997

Katrina Moorhead at Lynn Goode Gallery						8/16	
    Clean, elegant and modern, Moorhead's sparse installation at Lynn Goode Gallery incorporates the cool minimalism and emphasis on materials current in fashion, furniture and housewares. Their restrained beauty shows careful attention to formal details; subtle variations in the color of the rubber rings, a just-so tangle of leftover beads and ropes at the foot of the cascade. Moorhead's works have a fluid elegance unlike the hard-edge minimalism of Donald Judd or Carl Andre. Polite and serene, they lay aside the expressive angst and body referentialty of Eva Hesse or Louise Bourgeois. Replete with reference and metaphor, they recall the culture of artifacts rather than the body or the natural world.
     InFloat Curtain, the tangled ends of each strand coil on the floor, implying infinite expandability, as if one could continue to draw the curtain upwards. The tension between the ropes being drawn upward and the beads cascading down lend the curtain a coruscating, waterfall-like activity. Like a liquid, it assumes the shape of its container, temporarily partitioning the space.
     Saw a Woman Walking Her Plastic Bag  is a toylike ring of translucent discs, each fitted with a octagonal, non-skid rubber gasket, as if to prevent scuffing. The sight of rubber on carpet produces a squirmingly vivid hair-pulling sensation. White, turquoise, and dull red radial stripes evoke associations with candy, hairbands, baby toys, erasers. Its casually lopsided arrangement further defuses any pretension of minimalist purity. 
     Moorhead's pieces appear curiously unselfconscious. Succeeding without gimmicks, through the vividness of their associations, their formal beauty, and the freshness of their vision.-B.D.

Gallery Artists at Inman Gallery							8/16	
     The piece that really stands out is Paul Francis Forsythe's 'Figure:1', an odd symphony in green. Its backdrop is washed-out turquoise; a dark green rubber plant stands to the left and a kitsch sentimental painting of a blonde doey-eyed babe (also in green) is on the wall to the right. In the centre is the main subject:  a semi-naked man wearing semi-transparent underwear, holding onto two stems of the rubberplant, trying to look both playful and coy.  It sounds ridiculous and it looks ridiculous.  Soft, tender, a little chubby and semi-erect, he looks extremely vulnerable (but strangely sexy), the flesh so white against the green.  So many contradictions which fascinate: the figure is obviously posed, a little  awkward and uncomfortable but, for a 	moment, caught strangely unaware of the ridiculousness of his situation, looking back with sincerity.  Like a home-made soft porn video which is dreadfully clumsy, but fascinating, because the emotion in it is not 	'modelled'  - unlike the 50's painting in the background. Constantly turning back on itself, this photograph manages to be campy, sexy, ridiculous, intimate and sincere at the same time.  I want it.- Francesca Fuchs

Martha Bush at Revolution Summer Artspace  (1215 Marconi, 713 521-7564 )	8/24
Fascinatingly meticulous yet playful recreations of the sharply observed nuances of large objects in micro scale. Their inventive transformations of materials are startlingly effective; In Pool  a pane of beaded glass becomes water; in Lawnchair  blades of dried grass convincingly imitate nylon webbing in a hilarious double pun. An occasional element of surrealist absurdism leavens the straightforward scale change pieces: a saltine cracker's perforated edges mimic those on a postage stamp, a microscopic bridge spans the gulf of a paper coffee cup. Rubber Hand stretches out to greet one with an infinitely extensible handshake-B.D.

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