By Christian Viveros-FaunĂ©
By Miriam Felton-Dansky
By Tom Sellar
By Tom Sellar
By Jessica Dawson
By Tom Sellar
By R. C. Baker
By Tom Sellar
Richard Jackson: 'The War Room'
High production values and over-the-top tableaux plunge you into a savage theme park: human-size fiberglass ducks bedecked in military uniforms have been attached to compressor hoses and have sprayed each other with paint pumped from their erect steel penises. Add in the baby dolls in buckets and a huge oil-rig-studded geodesic globe and you'll realize that Jackson has exposed the pathetic pissing match that lies at its heart of all wars. Yvon Lambert, 550 West 21st, 212-242-3611. Through March 22.
The astonishing technical skill demonstrated in these five-foot-square oil paintings sets the viewer adrift in a stygian sea: thickly painted with stiff bristles, the ridges in the uniformly black pigment (which covers ever inch of the canvases) absorb or reflect light, which shifts like roiling waves with your every movement. But this is no gimmickthe sensuous heft of the materials and the broad, sweeping brushstrokes are inextricably bound to the compositions, which in turn coalesce into the most basic narrative of the sea: its primordial, unceasing, and hypnotic movement. Clamp Art, 521531 W 25th, 646-230-0020. Through March 31.
Using a camera mounted just above head level, Gefeller photographs the ground immediately in front of him, taking four steps before repeating the process over large distances. The individual images are then digitally stitched into faux-aerial shots of complex patterns, such as a racetrack grandstand littered with discarded betting slips, cigarette butts, and racing forms; only the fact that the cups, bottles, and railings appear in varying perspectives exposes the artist's mosaic method. One five-foot-wide image documents an area large enough to hold a dozen carsthe cracked, stained yellow pavement of this Paris parking lot possesses the engaging texture of an abstract painting. Hasted Hunt, 529 W 20th, 212-627-0006. Through April 14.
The crowd begins to gather at 10 past the hour. A broom attached to a small motor whirls like a propeller, its bristles making a tiissscht sound for each second as it sweeps across the concrete floor. The only other object in the large gallery is a spring-loaded steel contraption primed with a stack of clay pigeons, those brittle disks used by skeet shooters. After every 60 broom rotations, a drop of water falls from the ceiling, an ephemeral event stretching out each minute as all eyes watch the brute, mute machine. Viewers are careful not to get between it and the facing wall, which is lightly gouged and discolored, the floor at its base strewn with orange and white shards and dark powder. At exactly 17 minutes after each hour, the anticipatory mood is shattered when a clay pigeon is hurled against the wall and disintegrates in a black cloud, a moment of orchestrated violence so quick you may long for a slo-mo instant replay. But by making time almost irritatingly manifest, Golia's clever installation demonstrates that its inexorable passage offers no re-dosa new bird may be in the slot, but the previous one is gone forever. Bortolami Dayan, 510 W 25th, 212-727-2050. Through March 24.
'The Comics Library Journal Harvey Kurtzman'
Creator, cover artist, writer, and editor for the original Mad comic book, Kurtzman (192493) easily qualifies as one of America's most influential post-war artists. This compendium of interviews includes plentiful examples of his dynamic style, from early newspaper cartoons through the sinuous, calligraphic flow of his rough comic book layouts to his lavishly painted collaborations with Will Elder on Little Annie Fannyalong with colorful paeans from the likes of R. Crumb and Art Spiegelman. An in-depth analysis of "Big 'If'!," a legendary seven-page tale Kurtzman wrote and drew about war's cruel capriciousness, emphasizes his seamless blend of expressionist graphics with everyman tragedy. Various authors, Fantagraphics, 154 pp., $19.95