A R T L E T T E R
The Timely Magazine of Art
|#9||<!>previous/ next>!> Artletter index||July 15, 1995|
Public Art 95 in and around the Art League There is a fundamental conflict between the critical distance necessary for modern art to work and public art's need to be integrated into the culture. Modern public art will always look out of place, like someone who shows up at the wrong party in the wrong dress. Richard Serra knew this. His Tilted Arc relied on this antagonism for its success. Signage, advertising and graffiti, the real public manifestations of our culture, are shunned as eyesores, but the works in this show can't compete against such forceful expressions. The best (Allen, Carroll) get lost and are easily overlooked, becoming irrelevant. The pieces in this show only look foolish trying to make themselves heard in the crowded street environment. -B.D.& Delfina Lisa Ludwig at Moody Gallery 8/5 The bulky monumentality of the real cake pieces makes it easy to take them seroiusly despite their ephemeral materials. Best piece in the show is Eight Layers, Not Sliced, Uniced, a sloppy, flabby stack of rubbery cakes mortared together with sticky icing. The clay pieces are dull, without the truth to materials (they're colored like bronze) or the zest of the actual cakes.-B.D. Kirk McCarthy at Inman Gallery 8/12 Formally exquisite wall sculptures make you want to take them home. Colors delicious. Physically sturdy but conceptually ephemeral, so not too much shelf life, I'd guess -- but uncompromising. Honest. Delightful. What you see is what you get.-Elizabeth McBride Kirk McCarthy at Inman Gallery 8/12 Works like Red Blob With Definition, Protrusion and Pulse succeed at merging velvety surface and carved form into a sense of weightless insubstantiality; they're like flowers, exotic fish or micro-organisms, but I want more. McCarthy skirts the edges of several ideas which could give this work more bite: cartoon references (Inside Track), commentary on Moore's abstractions (Posture), ephemeral materials (the pieces are already shedding color), but he always stops short of engaging any of these issues, preferring to remain formal, beautiful, and safe.-B.D. Address letters to: Bill Davenport, 801 Tulane St., Houston TX 77007 Mail subscriptions $25/year. Look for Artletter 10 on August 1.