An online column by Scott Speh called "Hot Commodities" deserves a look. Unusual for an art scene where everyone has an opinions about shows they don't see, Speh actually gets off his ass, goes to exhibits, and then writes frank, funny reports about them. Unlike the art mags, there's no commercial agenda or behind-the-scenes string-pulling, just honest, off-the-cuff opinionmongering. His review of Dennis Hollingsworth's show at Nicole Klagsbrun excellently captures the nuances of this abstract painter's hard-to-nail work:
The Voice said [it] looked like cheesy hotel art at first - this is part of the appeal. Like [Laura] Owens he toes that bad/good line. Plus he can paint in the old romantic sense of pushing colored mud around a canvas. But it's not all intuition and action painting - he does have a strategy, a formula if you will, that gives the work a sort of steely logic keeps me from yawning. In addition to the historical technique, alla prima, a wet into wet impasto type application, he uses a number of signature techniques - he calls some of them monads, bulldozers, flings and pillows - that sees him pulling starburst-like strings from globs of paint, squeezing pigment straight from the tube - then carving a flat edge off the top of these ribbons, and trowelling and excising geometric shapes. I'm a sucker for straight from the tube pure color and juxtaposing high key and putrid, ugly color.
Here's another tidbit, from his review of Wolfgang Tillmans' last show at Andrea Rosen:
Artforum describes [Tillmans'] installation techniques as similar to the way teenagers decorate their bedrooms, "scattering unframed photos across the wall, mixing huge and tiny" etc. Oh, I don't think so. Has this writer ever seen a teenager's room? Perhaps he'd like to go home to Ohio with me and check out my 16-year-old sister's floor to ceiling collage - not an inch of free wall space.
and last, this quip about Rita McBride at Alexander & Bonin:
Shiny greenish-grey minimalist sculptures cast from video games or ATMs. I told the desk jockey "that one ATM isn't working." She didn't think I was funny.

- tom moody 7-25-2001 11:05 pm

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