PaceWildenstein February 2–March 10, 2007
Imagine that Yao Ming, upon his retirement from the NBA, becomes a sculptor. His gallery issues a press release on his exhibition, and just in case you don’t know who he is, talks about the artist’s height and how it affects his work: obviating the use of a step-ladder, skewing a certain tallishness, and so on. This would, of course, be patently silly. When Pace Wildenstein does the inverse with four-foot-tall sculptor Corban Walker, it’s silly and cynical.
Walker’s sculptures profess an aesthetic of minimalism with a maximal accumulation of parts: a zigzagging fence of interwoven aluminum bars, and rectangular pieces of glass stacked in alternating patterns, forming cubes or a ramp. The glass pieces are more challenging than the metal ones. The patterned green and blue rays reflected by the edges of the glass are both visually intriguing and coldly alienating, their basketlike repetitiveness creating an effect that is anything but folksy. Placed discretely around the cavernous gallery, they seem to thrum with an ominous mechanical intelligence, like a futuristic god-idol out of —its endless reflections seem to illuminate it from the inside—could be a feet-mauling prop from a sadistic Busby Berkeley number. None of the sculptures are over 44 inches, and so what? The uniformity of their design precludes any desire to “(crouch) down to get the full effect,” as the press release declares.
It’s a given that Jackson Pollock’s use of the floor is a factor in the making of his drip paintings, but would any serious art historian consider Diego Rivera’s girth to have had a bearing on his work? There must be a line between an artist’s process and his physicality. Pace should give Walker more credit. The work is stringent, if not lovable, and I imagine that so elegant an artist does not enjoy his personal ghettoization.
Picasso Sculptor. Matter and BodyBy Phong Bui
JUNE 2023 | ArtSeen
When we encounter any work of art by Picasso, be it a painting, a drawing, a print, a ceramic, or a sculpturelet alone an exhibition of his works that is medium specific or dedicated to a particular theme, or a phase of his evolutionwe viscerally feel an ecstatic joy in the presence of his most exceptional attribute: his ability to think and feel and fearlessly invent.
Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore’s Romare Bearden in the Homeland of His Imagination: An Artist’s Reckoning with the SouthBy TK Smith
JUNE 2022 | Art Books
As a historian of the American South, Gilmore is positioned to offer a historical analysis of Beardens life within a larger American context, expanding upon the work previously done by art historians, curators, and Bearden himself. A promising transdisciplinary endeavor, it fails to complicate what is widely known of the artists life.
Eve Fowler: New WorkBy Ksenia Soboleva
FEB 2023 | ArtSeen
The exhibition of Fowlers work currently on view at Gordon Robichaux shows us that her feminist pursuits are far from abandoned. Fittingly titled Eve Fowler: New Work, the solo show consists of a film, a series of collages, and a nine-channel video installation.
Engineer, Agitator, Constructor: The Artist Reinvented, 19181939By Charlotte Kent
MARCH 2021 | ArtSeen
The goal of MoMAs Engineer, Agitator, Constructor: The Artist Reinvented, 19181939 is to showcase the ways that artists participated in spreading radical new ideas made urgent by World War I and the 1917 Russian Revolution. The exhibition largely focuses on activity in what would become the Soviet Bloc, as artists enthusiastically adopted new print and distribution technologies, and embraced a geometric, abstract aesthetic that dramatized their rejection of the decadent, bourgeois parlor.