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October 1998, Volume 1, Number 3


Critics on Critics-
In the current New Art Examiner, Jim Yood quotes the writer's creed: "Give me this day my daily idea, and forgive me for the idea I had yesterday." We believe 'em when we write 'em. MB

Judith Geichman at the Cultural Center-
A painter who through her career has had more stylistic lives than a cat. Her latest identity-Pollock rediscovered through the hip lens of resurgent neo-abstraction, bad painting as good painting, via the late '90s. If this sounds convoluted it matches the coagulation of her pigments and the thinness of her core mission. Sure, you'll be optically blown away, but I can hear a voice saying, "Children, can you say galvanic? I think you can." JB

Around the Coyote: Killed by its own excess?-
There are some earnest artists looking to share their talents, and some that do a pretty good business here. Good luck to them. Personally, I can't see the art for the hype-a blizzard of ads bringing even more tourists to my already over-yuppied neighborhood, being asked to pay an admission fee to shows where the artists have already paid for the privilege of showing in their own studios. Sorry, I'll have to pass. Even while avoiding the art, I couldn't avoid the Not Art guy: no name, no preaching, just passing out stickers on the corner, I'm only sorry I haven't seen them stuck on things all over town. MB

Alice Hargrave at the Cultural Center-
A show that sets feminist art back thirty years. Pastel tinted x-rays of womens' bodies presented as symbols of fecundity. Deep. I am sure radiologists passing through the exhibition think that they could have gotten an MFA in their spare time. JB

Mark Carlson at Bodybuilder and Sportsman-
Like Buchel in May at TBA-I'd guess that this stuff is more interesting to those who don't recognize the scenario from home, and can fantasize about an exotic lifestyle somewhere down in the harvestable underclass. The difference is that this time the artist identifies with the depiction. Is it a significant difference? MB

Barbara Cooper at Fassbender-
A seed pod, is a seed pod, is a seed pod, but when does it become sculpture? When the artist stops pretending she is on a grade school field trip where she collected her first bark sample. Oh the wonder of nature! I wonder where the artist's insights and investigations went. JB

Margaret Welsh at CPR-
I expected something fun. What I got was stuff that is supposed to be smart. A strip-show stage and a red bed. A photo of metal-rockers around the bed. I liked the idea of the video as an MCA-ish intro to the work. Now I'm thinking of a strip-show bed with Xena's bloody knives. MB

Gladys Nilsson at Jean Albano-
Her best paintings in years. Proof that watercolor is not for Sunday painters or contemporary artists that never learned how to draw. You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but maybe the old dog still has enough sass to bite anyone in the ass that can't recognize a master of those increasingly unimportant elements to the younger generation. You know, those archaic elements, line, shape and color. JB

Paul Kass at Beret International-
There's a potential here for the kind of esoteric, aesthetic fine tuning that Richard Rezac and Charles Weisen have mastered. But it is only potential; Kass still comes off as an art-school-educated carpenter who has some left-over materials to play with. MB

U-Turn-E-Zine & Monograph Series at
My grandmother knows more about web design. An example of why professional designers think fine artists' knuckles scrape on the ground when they walk. Remember the Bauhaus when the best of the applied and fine arts were fused together to create hallmarks of communications design? Visit a gallery before visiting this site. JB

Mari Eastman at the Rainbow Club-
It's a lovely bunny painting. The clock and computer look a lot like Scott Reeder. I'm not sure what to make of the wood-grain paintings (probably a good thing). Bar art is different than gallery art, and I haven't yet talked to enough drunks to understand what this stuff is about. MB

Cocktails at the MCA-
Stiff drinks, beautiful flowers, too much cheese. A pleasing mix of art stars, collectors, and gallerists, and the new director is a very friendly man. Can't wait to meet the new head curator though. Hope they throw another party then, too. MJB

Julia Fish at Ten in One-
Quite the stylish opening. So many academic schmoozers you could barely see the art on/of the floor. You could, though, easily read the credits to the high-tech companies that made and cut the fancy tape. I guess that's how we can tell what a serious project this is. MB

"Anyone who has begun to think places some portion of the world in jeopardy." John Dewey

"It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid." George Bernard Shaw

"A man preparing to speak the truth should keep one foot in the stirrup." Mongolian Proverb

"God knows people who are paid to have attitudes toward things, professional critics, make me sick, camp-following eunuchs of literature. They won't even whore. They're all virtuous and sterile. And how well meaning and high minded. But they're all camp followers." Hemingway