John Szarkowski

ArtSeen

“If you see an apple tree growing in the woods,” says John Szarkowski, “you don’t instantly recognize it as an apple tree because it hasn’t been pruned. An apple tree in an orchard or a farmyard is constantly being pruned to let in the air and let in the light. It is half natural and half man-made.”

Salvador Dalí (1904–1989)

ArtSeen

Salvador Dalí is the subject of a major retrospective, the largest ever of his work, including his best paintings drawn from public and private collections, organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Palazzo Grassi, Venice, on the occasion of the centenary of the artist’s birth.

Abby Leigh

ArtSeen

A system is, at the very least, a set of disparate parts in dynamic relationship with one another, while the system as a whole illuminates the nature of those parts and their interconnections. Systems can be closed, as in Laplace’s deterministic interpretation of Newton’s mechanics, or they can be open and symbiotic, as is the case with biological systems.

Larry Webb and Bob Witz

ArtSeen

Way downtown at Studio 128, Larry Webb and Bob Witz exhibit paintings that nearly scream of the New York School’s influence. Looking at the work, I can all but smell the odor of turpentine emanating from paint-stained wooden floors of garreted Tenth Street lofts and the smoke curling from casually held cigarettes as intellectuals and artists discuss existential profundities.

Leon Polk Smith

ArtSeen

In 1936, a few years before the arrival of waves of World War II immigrants—and among them, many advocates of European modernism—Leon Polk Smith moved to New York City. During the following decade, like most of the other American artists of his generation, he embraced the avant-garde European movements wholeheartedly while searching for his own unique interpretations.

Noah Sheldon

ArtSeen

“Plywood Fountain,” an artwork with a perfectly descriptive title, occupies one room of Almost Vegetarian, Noah Sheldon’s first solo show at Southfirst Gallery in Williamsburg. “Plywood Fountain” is an unadorned four-by-four-foot polyurethaned birch box fitted with an electric pump emitting a jet of water, which takes on an iridescent sheen from three colored lights submerged in its basin.

Pat Passlof

ArtSeen

Despite a rough passage through postmodern theory, the grid has made another strong appearance at Elizabeth Harris Gallery in the paintings of Pat Passlof. Her most recent series, variations on a theme entitled Eighth House, relies heavily on the grid for structure. The best work in the show proves the staying power of this tried-and-true fundamental of painting.

Jin Soo Kim

ArtSeen

A point of clarification is required at the outset—not about art, but about names. Korean names, like some American names—like my name, for instance—can be very common. The artist Jinsoo Kim at the Tenri Gallery—who is the subject of this review—should not be confused with the sculptor, Jin Soo Kim, who works out of Chicago. They are both Korean artists living in the United States.

John Walker

ArtSeen

As someone who has followed John Walker’s work since the “rediscovery of painting” in the early 1980s, I was caught unaware. I’d glanced at an ad for an exhibition of collages and immediately envisioned homey works on paper with Matissian colors, small enough for one to take home under one’s arm or put in the backseat of a cab.

Jonathan Schipper and Simon Lee

ArtSeen

Questions about performance and interactivity connect the disparate bodies of work in the debut solo show of sculptor Jonathan Schipper and the recent photographic work of Simon Lee.

Tim Hawkinson

ArtSeen

For the past twenty years, Tim Hawkinson has been part of a larger movement in art concerned with transforming everyday materials into radically new forms, both abstract and representational.

Nin Brudermann

ArtSeen

For sixty years the U.S. Navy hit the tiny Caribbean island of Vieques with everything it had. It stored vast quantities of munitions, including depleted uranium shells, on the fingerlike island’s lush west end and exploded them on its environmentally ravaged eastern tip.

On the Subject of War

ArtSeen

Curator and Smack Mellon director Kathleen Gilrain clearly wants the viewer to understand one thing about On the Subject of War: This is an homage to the recently deceased Susan Sontag. Thus the title, a loose combination of the titles of Sontag’s two well-known books on photography, On Photography and Regarding the Pain of Others.

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MAR 2005

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