Cenophobia: Roni Horn, Gabriel Orozco, Dan Flavin

                                        Roni Horn: Paired Gold Mats for Ross and Felix, 1994-95.      Beauty Needs Its Own Space   In her recent review of "Roni Horn a.k.a. Roni Horn" (at the Whitney), Times art critic Roberta Smith damns with faint praise. Smith, who once worked for Donald Judd, seems peeved that Judd was a Horn supporter and even purchased some of her … [Read more...]

Cornered: 1969 And All That…. at P.S.1/MoMA

                                                    Robert Smithson: Corner Mirror with Coral, 1969. At P.S.1, the sculpture is displayed on a low platform, instead of directly on the floor as originally.           Upon the Arbitrary Nature of Posterity     A yellowed clipping from the Village Voice is included in one of the display … [Read more...]

Jung’s Secret Book, Aboriginal Paintings, and Mandalas

  What do these images have in common?       Top left is from "Icons of the Desert: Early Aboriginal Paintings from Papunya" at the Grey Art Gallery, N.Y.U., 100 Washington Square East, to Dec.5.   Top right is from "Mandala: The Perfect Circle: at The Rubin Museum, 150 W. 17, to Jan. 11.   Lower middle is from "The Red Book of C. G. Jung" at The Rubin Museum, to Jan. 25.     Codes, Maps, and Building Plans   Some images and objects we can … [Read more...]

Ken Friedman: Fluxus Prodigy

  Refluxions   A recent exhibition at the Stendhal Gallery in Chelsea gave pause for thought. And another chance to play catch-up with Fluxus, during what might be a Neo-Fluxus period. Solidified just before Conceptual Art per se, Fluxus was truly international. To the accusation that Fluxus is just Dada in sheep's clothing, Fluxians would reply that unlike Dada, their religion accentuates the positive rather than the negative. Fluxus is often humorous, but humor in art is no laughing … [Read more...]

Allan Kaprow: The Retread

     William Pope.L,YARD (To Harrow), 2009; "reinvention" of Allan Kaprow'sYARD, 1961   Part One: Art By the Yard Allan Kaprow's Yard, now in its 15th reincarnation, celebrates the new quarters (32 E. 69th St.) of Hauser & Wirth, formerly only of Zurich and London. From beyond the grave, Kaprow (1927-2006) is still posing questions of authority, authorization, and notions of the artist as author rather than maker.   The Hauser & Wirth exhibition (to Oct. … [Read more...]

Fluxus Redux

 Fluxconcert Performance    The End of The Art World, Again Art galleries are closing down. Well, perhaps not enough of them. And, let's face it, museums are dull. As an exercise in nostalgia, we now have O'Keeffe, Kandinsky, and are looking forward to  Man Ray, and (in Philadelphia) Gorky. But only Man Ray at the Jewish Museum promises revelations -- concerning his hidden identity. Wait a minute, we all knew he was Jewish, didn't we?   Oh, we are on to those … [Read more...]

Governors Island: New Haunts for Art

          The Plot   Site-specific art has subjects. Content needs to be parsed. In the best examples, the artworks initiate a kind of dialogue between place and viewers, illuminating where we are. Dreary forms of personal expression are at least once removed. Furthermore, it gets art out of galleries, museums and penthouses.   What I have never said before is that site-specific art harkens back to a time before easel paintings and the tchotchkas and … [Read more...]

Kusamarama: Art and Anxiety (Part II)

  Samuel Johnson Had It  (And So Did Howard Hughes)   Samuel Johnson suffered from the need to engage in threshold rituals, was prone to repetitive step-counting and continual praying.                       Yayoi Kusama can't stop painting dots and loops. At one time she also covered chairs, sofas, and entire rooms with stuffed "penises."   Obsessive compulsive disorder is obsessively referred to by the mental … [Read more...]

Francis Bacon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

         Francis Bacon, Painting, 1946   Bacon Fat   When it comes to Francis Bacon (1909-1992), less is more. The current "Centenary Retrospective" at the Metropolitan, on view through Aug. 16, is ample proof. One picture at a time can be quite effective, but seeing any Bacon that once might have taken your fancy (perhaps out of some deep-seated perversity) along with others of the same or far too similar ilk destroys any credence he might once have had as a … [Read more...]