Friday, April 13, 2007

I have a pick for Barabara Probst at G Fine Art in this week's City Paper.

Read it here.

Last weekend, I also saw Andy Moon Wilson's show at Curator's Office just before it came down...I have to say, I enjoyed it much more than I guessed I would. I'm always hesitant to embrace gallery art that uncritically employs the visual language of underground comics, or that seems to be all about navel gazing, youth culture, and marking time. That's what I assumed the show would be about: Drawing doodles on business cards as a way to comment on the meaninglessness of a wage slave existence.

Instead, I found those little business cards pretty satisfying--particularly the ones in which Wilson makes little number puzzles, or codes and keys, or hypnotic patterns, all a bit reminiscent of Simon Gouverneur. When Wilson blurs the line between Zen-like self-subtraction and absent minded, impulsive creation, he's got my attention. Even the cartoons--full of guns, tanks, and sword-swinging barbarians--were pretty charming, particularly as a commentary on gender, stereotypical maleness.

So Kurt Vonnegut died. Many have talked about Slaughterhouse Five (1969) and Cat's Cradle (1963), and about Vonnegut's humanism--he was honorary president of the American Humanist Association. At fellow humanist Isaac Asimov's funeral, Vonnegut famously announced, "He is in heaven now." Big laughs.

Less, I think, has been said about Rabo Karabekian, the failed abstract expressionist protagonist of Bluebeard (1987) whose pictures consist of strips of colored tape on Sateen Dura-Lux housepaint. One of Karabekian's dark secrets is that his strips of tape actually represent the auras of people, and his abstract pictures tell little stories: Polar bears chasing eskimos across the ice, for example.
Worse still, Sateen Dura-Lux turns out to be unstable. Karabekian's paintings self-destruct, melting into puddles on the floors of banks and corporate offices everywhere--a reference, I think, to the conservation problems attending the more volatile of Jackson Pollock's paintings. Good stuff.


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