|Carol Jackson, Slip, 2013|
|Suzanne McClelland, Steve and John: Ideal |
|David Wojnarowicz, Calendar|
Painting is well represented, notably by Louise Fishman, Suzanne McClelland, Phil Hanson, Dan Walsh, Dona Nelson, and Amy Sillman. Some smaller galleries are devoted to one artist, notably painting installations by Tony Greene, Keith Mayerson, and Etel Adnan. John Mason's geometric totems evoke nostalgia for timeless modern sculpture; Terry Adkins' suspended hubcap/sound installation (Aviarium) contemporized it. And Lisa Anne Auerbach's giant Megazine (complete with a pair of page turners during designated hours) and knit outfits with political undertones reminded me of the outré satire of the 90s.
Several installations acknowledged the influence of other artists, some in memoriam, such as Julie Ault's Afterlife: A Constellation. David Wojnarowicz pops up in two. His work, influential during his brief life, is a reminder not only of the tragedy of AIDS, but of the urgency it forced upon artists to focus and produce when faced with a drastically shortened lifespan. Charlemagne Palestine's series of stuffed animal/sound pieces in the stairwell were awkardly reminiscent of Mike Kelley (even though Palestine has long worked with plush animals), perhaps because of the scale and the guerrilla placement.
|Shio Kusaka, Dinosaur 2|
Zoe Leonard created the haunting room installation 945 Madison Avenue, which consists of a camera obscura with a plate-sized "pinhole" capturing the view onto Madison Avenue from the iconic geometric window. The resulting ghostly image of the street view, cast onto the opposite wall, takes awhile to see as your eyes adjust to the dark. It is a poignant reminder that this is the last Biennial in the Breuer building before the Whitney moves to the Meatpacking District. (Meat for sale!) The window itself has become a storied witness/inspiration; only recently it provided much of the light during a section of Sarah Michelson's Devotion 4. No doubt it will continue serving the Met Museum when it moves in.
|Peter Schuyff, Sans Papier|
In order to process a survey like this (and much of which is excluded here), I find myself grouping works together—more survival than intent. Notes:
- Dinosaurs, as reminders of extinction, seen in Shio Kusaka's elegant ceramic vases and David Wojnarowicz's plesiosaur calendar
- Writing desks, including Paul P's graceful Ming Dynasty inspired wooden set (to complement his extensive series of quiet ink wash portraits), and David Robbins' arts and crafts version
- Sparkly and or rainbow hued things—Joel Otterson's amazing curtain of colored crystal gewgaws and chandeliers of gem-hued goblets; Sheila Hicks' infatuating Pillar of Inquiry/Supple Column, a cascade of colored yarn, and her textured fiber woven works; and Ken Lum's Midway Shopping Plaza, a suburban shopping mall directory doubling as a sociological and political commentary
- Familiar names showing new forms—Peter Schuyff's vitrine of elaborately carved spiral pencils; David Foster Wallace's notebooks and scrawlings
|Terry Adkins, Aviarium|
Photos: Susan Yung