24 March 2008

Martha Wilson at Mitchell Algus

Quite a bit of good viewing in the galleries on Saturday but perhaps the best and most surprising was the Martha Wilson show at Mitchell Algus Gallery on West 25th Street. As usual, Mitchell has dug up some interesting art and displays it well, simply but well. The show is of her "Photo/Text Works, 1971-74." Mitchell had to remind me that she was a founder of Franklin Furnace, the great artist book and publication shop. These are so evocative of so much contemporary and later identity work. I especially liked the decorative-arts switch piece in which the plain woman is in the fancy frame and the dressed-to-the-nines woman is in the plain frame. Bits of narrative on a bunch of the pieces.

Among the other shows I visited: Matthew Buckingham, at Murray Guy (one film with text in French on Le Prince and early moving-image camera; other text and image video on Charlotte Wolff, psychologist and writer on homosexuality); Marc Swanson: the Saint at large, at Bellwether Gallery (yes, as in the disco but the connection is pretty postmodern); Marcel Dzama, at Zwirner (yes, the piano music in the video installation was live); Subodh Gupta's "1 KG war" (a kilo of gold with "war" engraved), at Jack Shainman; Robert Gober, at Matthew Marks (in the small gallery on 21st and the smaller gallery on 22nd); Meg Webster, at Paula Cooper on 23rd Street (just five or six works but powerful); Guerra de la Paz, at Daneyal Mahmood (I really like their work though this wasn't my favorite example, and it closed on Saturday).

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