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Mara Catalan and Joe Amrhein

"Look around, this is the last generation of human beings that will be making paintings." This provocative statement of course grabbed a lot of attention at the birthday party where it was uttered recently by a painter who works for a museum at an upstate university, someone obviously more in tune with academic and student attitudes on these matters, so I deferred to his opinion.

Black Belt

Funny when culture-world heavy-hitters coincide like this. American fetishization of East Asian kung fu film and martial arts imagery from the 1970s has suddenly emerged as something to confront, evidenced by the concurrent openings of the Studio Museum in Harlem’s group show Black Belt and Quentin Tarantino’s newest bloodbath Kill Bill: Volume 1. Black Belt is an attempt to examine the social implications of widespread fascination among African-Americans in the 1970s with Bruce Lee and martial arts films through the work of contemporary Asian and African-American artists. Kill Bill is an ode to the dish of revenge, served cold.

My People Were Fair and Had Cum in Their Hair (But Now They’re Content to Spray Stars From Your Boughs)

In The History of Sexuality Volume 1, Michel Foucault examines how discourse around sexuality, particularly the notion of repression, functions to regulate, control, and re-inscribe dominate power relationships.

Salvador Dalí’s "Dream of Venus"

Here I’m designing a Surrealist pavilion for the World’s Fair with genuine explosive giraffes. —1939 letter from Dalí to Luis Bunuel. The giraffes were not to explode, nor would Dalí be allowed to replace the head of Botticelli’s "Venus" with the head of a fish. Dalí’s main sponsor, a manufacturer of, among other items, rubber mermaid tails, complained that too much Surrealism outside the pink cement grotto would keep the paying public from coming up with the two-bits to get in on the action inside: models cavorting in a glass swimming pool wearing only the aforementioned rubber product,

Ingrid Calame

It’s hard to imagine that this is Ingrid Calame’s first solo exhibit in New York. The colors are intense. Calame writes, "Color for me is a trigger for thoughts and memories, one color leads to another— like writing a rambling poem." Several paintings hang in the first room of the gallery, each holds a collection of stains traced from the streets of L.A. and New York, transcribed in brightly pigmented enamels onto aluminum.

Evan Lintermans

Evan Lintermans’s New Paintings show at *sixtyseven is a winterfresh whiff of arctic air consisting of three acrylic paintings on Plexiglas produced after an Alaskan trip. The subject perfectly suits Lintermans’s technique and offers him the chance to show off his surfaces as his forms oscillate in shimmering waves.

Joe Fig

Inka Essenhigh paints on plastic plates; her studio floor is littered with them. Steve Mumford’s studio is right next door to hers. Tara Donovan works out of her home. She watches TV to pass the time. Fred Tomaselli carefully catalogues his collage material, separating noses from butterflies from flowers in neatly arranged rows behind plastic sheets. Matthew Ritchie has a beautiful parquet floor in his studio. He reads quantum theory.

Andrea Belag

In her new show, Andrea Belag does a lot with a little. The ten oil paintings that line the wall at Bill Maynes Gallery are touched very lightly with little paint. Their surfaces glisten liquid smooth due to the gloss varnish that covers them and the sable brush Belag uses to paint them. They seem to have been painted in one sitting. The raw canvas shows at times. Each mark, scumbled, wiped, pulled, or pushed, seems fresh.

one-on-one

The title of Pierogi’s video show, one-on-one, in Gallery One at Pierogi 2000 refers both to the intimate videos as well as the cubicles that partition the gallery into a maze of individual viewing stations. The installation is an effective framing device for the overtly narrative and conversational videos.

Jason Middlebrook

Jason Middlebrook has made a promising career out of large-scale sculptural installations like his transforming "Dig" (2001) at the New Museum that turned the downstairs library into an open pit. It comes as something of a surprise to encounter Middlebrook creating an installation that doesn’t transform the gallery as much as traverse its walls with intelligent, beautiful drawings. This surprising, effortless turn elevates an already excellent show.

Letter from London

Damien Hirst at White Cube Franko B is an artist most well known for his performance art. I saw one, I Miss You, last year at Tate Modern. In it, Franko walked down a catwalk of white canvas bleeding from both arms. His rotund, short frame was painted completely white and as he walked, drips of red fell down his side, dappling his body, and creating, on the ground beneath, a magical pattern of footprints and spots.

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NOV 2003

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