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tom moody

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I've spent two days looking at Paris galleries and have to disagree with the conventional art world wisdom that there's "nothing going on here." There's the usual amount of lame, Bienniale-circuit conceptualism, but also a fair amount of what I'm most interested in, which is a kind of lumpen, post-minimal, Pop abstraction with no accompanying grad-school text whatever. There were good examples of this in Munich--I particularly enjoyed Heribert Heindl's quasi-monochromes on shiny commercial billboard paper--but the Paris variety is almost what you'd expect from this bright, effervescent city: a kind of loose, brightly colored, don't-give-a-shit scatter aesthetic. (Imagine the visual equivalent of Air and Daft Punk.) One of my favorite galleries is one of the least-taken-seriously, according to my host: Galerie Bernard Jordan. Physically it's a bit of a dump, but I liked the show, by Stephen Maas, a British-born sculptor who lives and works in Paris (below is his Earshot, 2000, made of silicon, rubber, and packing foam). I was also pleased to see that the gallery shows Peter Soriano, an underappreciated sculptor from New York. Other shows I liked were Gabrielle Wambaugh at Eric Dupont, a group show at Jennifer Flay, and Moshekwa Langa at Ghislaine Hussenot (the last artist is South African, but fits my description--think Mike Kelley meets Tony Feher).

I also enjoyed the revamped Pompidou Center, where I lingered over a large room devoted to the indigenous Support/Surface movement of the late '60s/early '70s, scratched my head over a deconstructive-impressionist "history of cinema" by Jean Luc Godard, and chortled through a meaty program of Roman Signer's gratuitous explosion videos.

- tom moody 6-28-2001 10:29 am [link]