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Umělec magazine 2003/3


Veronika Drahotová | news | en cs

Richard Prince “Nurse Paintings”

Barbara Gladstone Gallery,
Sept. 20 - Oct. 25, 2003
One of the most prestigious New York galleries, known for its boring carefulness, went for certainty once again. It exhibited the durable perennial of American art, the freak and jack of all the trades Richard Prince. His canvases of nurses are a reflection on his obvious interest and relationship towards pop culture. An eager book collector, Prince used blown-up prints of nurses in white uniforms from the covers of popular pulp novels as the background for his canvases.
Then he repeatedly poured, dropped or smeared glossy layers of paint on the canvas and what was left of the nurses mysteriously came through. He has created a series of monumental pictures that do not differ very much from each other and which show the artist’s obsession with ejaculation and his slight tendency towards of sadism.

Miguel Calderón “Forcing the Forces of Nature”

Andrea Rosen Gallery, Sept. 19 – Oct. 24, 24 street
Miguel Calderón is an artist who grew up and lives in Mexico City. His exhibition Forcing the Forces of Nature contains everything that we might expect from an inhabitant of this overcrowded mega-city. He compares his exhibition to Vonnegut’s book Slaughterhouse Five in which moments from the past and future interweave without any logical connection. He also reflected the mundane and spiritual nature of human experiences, contemplated ecology and didn’t leave out a direct depiction of life and death — and this all through the sieve of autobiographical experiences or projections. The scale was just as colorful. Photographs of families lying in the grass after a picnic, a series of photos of a young man with a BMX bike and of a hawk are the artist’s sentimental memories from childhood. In the space between the hawk and dead bodies stand three large pseudo pop art sculptures Resistol 5000: glue cans pouring out their contents and threatening to contaminate nature, or otherwise enabling psychedelic sniffing — a popular pastime of Mexican youth. The folkloric lacquered wood installation called Bar Rustico Montanoso wittily reflects the chaos and attractive tastelessness of bars and cafeterias where city folk go to relax on the weekends.

Janine Antoni “To Draw a Line”

Luhring Augustine (Gallery)
American Janine Antoni has been exhibiting in Luhrin Augustine Gallery since 1996. Her work can be found in the collections of The Whitney, Guggenheim and MoMA.
To Draw a Line is a sculpture with certain elements of the ready-made. Two industrial two-and-a-half meter-high metal bobbins stand in opposite corners of the gallery and are joined by a seven-meter-long hemp rope which is drawn tight. Antoni herself knitted thirty meters of rope, which wind around the floor the floor and wrap around one bobbin.
During the opening Antoni walked across the tightened rope until she lost her balance and fell
into the yarn below. The same material which had held her aloft saved her from injury. Antoni suggests that “balance” is not an optimal state, but nothing more than a blink of the eye compared to the tumult we
experience everyday.


To me the center for modern art PS1 was always something of an art Mecca and a stamp of quality. I
realized that something had changed as soon as I had stepped just beyond the concrete entry gate where the first part of the exhibition was located. The partly realistic, partly stylized metal sculptures of life-size strung-up dogs (a la David Černý) skirted the walls of the spacious yard. After that, I attempted to understand the installation in the neighboring smaller space — a huge human head sticking out of the
gravel — as a joke.
Four exhibitions and a smaller projects were scattered everywhere. They were not always easy to find. Harold Szeemann, famous curator of Swiss origin, had prepared a large touring exhibition of twenty artists. The Real Royal Trip is supposed to relate to four of Columbus’ trips to the New World, as it investigates present-day Spanish and Latin American art in the context of the international art world (Cuba, Costarica, Brazil). Except for a few artists, see Ernesto Neto, Royal Trip is a schematic
“horror trip,” that includes the above-mentioned dogs.
The exhibition New Barbarians by partners in life and art Sue Webster and Tim Noble saved me from total disappointment.

Veronika Drahotová



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