I didn’t see the original 1998 version at the Pat Hearn and Matthew Marks galleries, which this show reprises (with only the reliable Mary Heilmann appearing in both incarnations), but I can’t imagine it was as enervated as this cynical mélange. Josh Smith’s small, muddy abstractions begin the current proceedings in Matthew Marks’s side gallery, and things don’t get much better in the larger space. Karen Kilimnik’s white-on-white tondo, the snow Queen causing a blizzard in Siberia, proffers a smattering of glitter on a bare surface, taking her usual washed-out affect to its nadir. Some people find Martin Kippenberger’s rambunctious torrent of multimedia images invigorating, but his sole painting here, a big blue concoction featuring gold outlines around a warship, is flabby and bland. Bearing the conceptual baton to some ever-receding finish line, the flaccid smears of blue and green in Michael Krebber’s 2001 Contempt for One’s Own Work as Planning for Career are a Sunday painter’s dream: Five minutes of work, and you’re hung in a major gallery. Wade Guyton’s inkjet-printed sheets of linen provide a bright spot, perhaps because their stuttering layers of black reveal arresting subtleties in the glitchy degradations of desktop publishing.
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. Starts: July 23. Continues through Aug. 15, 2008