Portrait of the Artist as a Young Artist

If there's no iconic image, does an artist's work risk becoming fuzzy in the mind?

Lining the walls of the rear gallery are Levin's gallery notes on press releases and exhibition checklists. Artists should pay attention to her spot-on haiku reviews of their shows. An early Lisa Yuskavage one reads, "Chicks with jugs/Manned engines of ambivalence"; a Sarah Sze invite mentions "soaring/less improvisational"; a Jules de Balincourt note simply says, "still in school." Levin is an adept sketcher, as can be seen in her delightful drawings of paintings and sculptures. More than 500 gallery announcement cards dating from the 1970s to the present allow you to trace the history of the art world in exhibition announcements and to behold the names of galleries that no longer exist and artists who have passed away.

This show is a reminder that what may be most ephemeral about the art world is the art world itself. Objects remain but everything else will one day be gone. Levin lets you see how one critic lovingly keeps track of it all.

Artforum Again

Lina Bertucci’s portrait of Elizabeth Peyton, 1995
Perry Rubenstein Gallery
Lina Bertucci’s portrait of Elizabeth Peyton, 1995


Portraits of Artists
Luhring Augustine
531 West 24th Street
Through February 4

Lina Bertucci
Perry Rubenstein Gallery
527 West 23rd Street
Through February 18

See also:
  • Inner Workings
    Like a sea of frozen prayer flags or a journey through time
    by Jerry Saltz

  • Where Are All the Women Artists Again?
    by Jerry Saltz
  • A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the low visibility of women artists in some quarters of the art world. Among other venues I singled out Artforum's Top 10 lists. While my mail has been quite supportive, some have taken my words as an attack on the magazine itself even though I noted that "editors shouldn't police writers." In fact, over the past few years Artforum has dramatically increased the number of women featured in its articles and among its contributors. Also, a quarter of the picks on Artforum's list were devoted to group shows or pop culture phenomena, so the 10 percent women artists figure I cited, while ghastly, isn't the whole story—although these choosers still managed to name almost five times as many men. Finally, as I wrote, "I don't exempt myself." To wit: Of 18 solo exhibitions of living artists to which I devoted lengthy reviews over the past year, a barely acceptable six have been of women artists.


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