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Forman Collection

Post #1237 • September 25, 2008, 9:56 AM • 15 Comments

Buffalo, NY - Works on Paper: The Natalie and Irving Forman Collection at the Albright-Knox Museum consists largely of minimalist drawings, which as a class doesn't give one much hope of encountering anything satisfying. The labor that goes into a hand-rendered graphite rectangle by James Howell, for instance, must be extraordinary, but how could one go wrong? An overly dark spot? A thumbnail-inflicted dent in the paper? Consequently the effort is like office work using art supplies. The exceptions worth noting have more vigorous activity in them: Robert Nickle's warm, textured, pleasingly neutral collages; a James Turrell installation that makes a purple rectangle several feet across float mysteriously in the darkness; and the refreshingly frenzied oils on paper by John Connell.

Eric Tillinghast: Section Drawings, 2004, ink and graphie on paper, 15 parts, 14 1/2 x 14 1/2 in (36.8 x 36.8 cm) each, promised Gift of Natalie and Irving Forman to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Comment

1.

Chris Rywalt

September 25, 2008, 11:01 AM

I saw some of Turrell's work in PaceWildenstein, I think it was. Last year, maybe. I never wrote it up, unfortunately. What I remember was that I walked past the work thinking it was pretty simple and uninteresting. Then I came back past it and decided to sit in front of it a bit and I really found myself drawn into it. Then I got up and tried to see what the work actually was and, much to my surprise, I couldn't figure it out. I still have no idea how he got those softly glowing rectangles of light.

He also had some large holograms up. What was interesting about that, for me, was I happened to be at the show with Tracy Helgeson and her husband Doug Miller, and Doug used to be involved with holography, so he could tell me all about what equipment was used to make the images. I used to be a holography nut, back in high school, but I'm rusty on the topic; Doug brought me up to date.

2.

MC

September 25, 2008, 11:06 AM

"The labor that goes into a hand-rendered graphite rectangle by James Howell, for instance, must be extraordinary, but how could one go wrong?"

I was thinking something along these lines reading the Germain Greer piece... in the 'art' of Damien Hirst, failure is impossible. There is simply no room for failure, but not in the sense of exacting standards: it can't fail, because it is a Hirst.

"The shelves and cabinets in Pharmacy (1992) were sloppily fitted and poorly finished, but they still sold for £11m. The first time I saw Mother and Child Divided (1993), with bubbles of gas clinging to the decomposing carcasses of cow and calf, and took a good look at the structure of their vitrines, goosebumps stood up on my skin. I had a momentary vision of the whole setup exploding, showing the onlookers with floods of formaldehyde, shards of plate glass and a blizzard of jet-propelled cow parts."


One assumes that if Germaine's dream came true, she would look up from the debris of broken glass, blood streaming from her infected cuts, and cheer, "Bravo! Another success, Maestro Hirst!"

What a buffoon...

3.

Jack

September 25, 2008, 11:59 AM

Make that a thoroughly establishment-approved buffoon, MC. Give the woman her due.

4.

Jack

September 25, 2008, 1:50 PM

Besides, MC, Greer is woman, hear her roar, and so on and so forth. A suitable sociopolitical position and the requisite fashionable posture are far more germane than any actual fitness to be a professional art writer or critic. GG has all the right qualifications, after all.

5.

Walter

September 25, 2008, 2:01 PM

If I were the devil, I would have to invent artists like Damian Hirst in order to sow the seeds of confusion and discontent among lesser artists. Such a froth of negative energy distracts the slaves from any path to the truth and they die in the foul liquids of their own dissolution. Get on with it, get drunk and visit a whorehouse.

6.

Chris Rywalt

September 25, 2008, 2:04 PM

I'm married and therefore can't really make proper use of a whorehouse, but when I was out in Nevada recently with an unmarried friend I tried to get him to go. I figured I'd hang out in the bar while he had himself a time. But he wouldn't do it. Such a shame.

The point is, I can't live a dissolute life even when I want to. I have my own Field of Lameness, 100' radius.

7.

Jack

September 25, 2008, 2:12 PM

I'm not an artist, nor have I ever wanted to be one.

8.

Walter

September 25, 2008, 3:14 PM

Whoa Jack, reel in that line for a new worm, you caught an old shoe. It is obvious you are not an artist so the comment was not for you.

9.

Jack

September 25, 2008, 3:35 PM

I'm glad that's clear, Walter, but since your comment was preceded by two of mine, it seemed plausible to assume it might include a reference to me. It wouldn't have been the first time a newcomer took everyone here for artists, but I suppose everyone is not equally, uh, perceptive, just as everyone is not equally ill-mannered.

10.

Walter

September 25, 2008, 3:54 PM

Jack can discern a delectable Durer under the deflecting duress of Damians dramatic diversions which do doom down other men. Pas de délit

11.

Jack

September 25, 2008, 4:02 PM

If you say so, Walter.

12.

MC

September 25, 2008, 4:28 PM

"If I were the devil, I would have to invent artists like Damian Hirst..."

So, Charles Saatchi is the devil? And here I thought Ad-men and PR flacks were just low level demons. I must admit, though, I did have my suspicions about DAMIEN being a comic imp, like Screwtape, but with more financial success... I think it was his gargoyle-like mug that was the giveaway.

13.

Walter

September 25, 2008, 4:57 PM

Success, target acquired....

14.

MC

September 25, 2008, 5:12 PM

Whoops, Walter is malfunctioning. Time to reboot.

15.

ahab

September 26, 2008, 10:00 AM

I like the one-minute review format, Franklin.

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