Art Lies, Volume 3, October-November 1994


Peter Doroshenko
who's showing at the Whitney? Is the
Guggenheim having an Asia show?
Doesn't Roy Arden work at the New Mu-
seum? Welcome to another art season in
New York - a back to school special.
For his first major New York exhibition
at Nicole Klagsbum Gallery, Vancouver
artist Roy Arden presented a group of
photographs which investigate anew the
validity of representational practices. In
the tradition of Walker Evans and Dan
Graham. his large austerely-composed
color prints of construction sites and
equipment, tree stumps, and homes-both
recently derelict and embryonically
new-play photojournalism's poetic and
prosaic tendencies against one another.
The result is a kind of pictorial prose po-
etry; images of the real world rendered
with a tenacious lyrical sensibility.
Grounded in a politically charged local
context, these photographs also form a
narrative alluding to the socio-economic
transition of land use in a region under-
going rapid and dramatic transformation.
During a series of gallery openings on a
September Saturday night, the Soho
streets and galleries were filled with art
students and recent graduates. Many
have made micro inroads into the galler-
ies and alternative spaces, adding zest to
the stagnant scene. Among the young
artists who showed downtown, most no-
table are Wolfgang Tillmans at Andrea
Rosen. Larry Krone. Brad brown, Jeff
Beall and Kara Walker at The Drawing
Center. Tillmans' photographs of the
European club-scene explore his own
youth culture and that of his German and
British contemporaries. Sharing a social
life revolving around house-music, he

was also actively involved with other so-
cial and political issues, ranging from
housing and environmentalism, to anti-
racism and gay rights. The installation of
sixteen over-sized bubblejet prints and
twelve standard snapshots of every-day
occurrences, shows us something that we
might have seen happen somewhere,
sometime yesterday-an insight to a bor-
ing, religious, sexy or fun filled day.
These works have enough going for them
to make them important documentary
images of our time. In the exhibition In-
stallations, Larry Krone has also tied his
works into the music scene by using hair
glued on wax paper to spell different
country music titles, such as Always on
My Mind and Margaritaville. The small
semi-poetic works were set behind glass
and amassed salon style on various walls
creating a creepy nostalgia for love, pride
and heartbreak. The mixed media works
on paper by Brad Brown, give a feeling
of an open studio with hundreds of small
sketches and scribbles pinned to a wall.
An interesting concept and well executed,
but much too formal. Jeff Bell's instal-
lation of gessoes, paper shopping bags
staked on top of each other to form a
wall, oddly hark a heroic scale missing
since the early 1980s. A strange mix of
Robert Gober and A VA /HE55 6, The
paper works of Kara Walker question the
relationship between African-American
history and Anglo domination of the vis-
ual arts. Various images mimicking
children's book illustrations enforce the
positive and negative space between the
colors black and white, lending her work
a sense of intelligence and commitment.
The Guggenheim Museum and its branch
in Soho continue to define themselves in
modem and contemporary art landscapes
of New York.
The exhibition, Oskar Kokoschka, Works
on Paper: The Early Years, 1897-1917,
focused on one of the most interesting--
although least known-periods in Kok-
oschka's artistic life. Included were
ninety early drawings, watercolors and

prints brought together from private and
public collections around the world for
the first time. Downtown, at the Soho
branch, the Guggenheim recently opened
Japanese Art After 1945: Scream Against
the Sky. The title of this in-depth na-
tional survey was taken from a score by
late 1960s cultural icon. Yoko Ono, and
conveys the metaphysical spirit and ex-
tremist action of the Japanese avant-
garde. Tracing the identity, development
and expression of postwar Japanese
avant-garde art, this exhibition featured
the work of sixty Japanese and
Japanese-American artists and included
painting, sculpture, photography, film,
video and multimedia installations. The
work in this exhibition-and its
history-might be better understood if cu-
ratorial emphasis had been placed on ei-
ther early or recent developments and
thus more focused, rather than spread
over fifty years.


Huerta, Benito; Ballou, Chris & Loftus, Kelley. Art Lies, Volume 3, October-November 1994. Houston, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed April 19, 2014.