Friday, June 23, 2006

Twig n Berries

We dropped by I-20 last night for the opening of "Men," organized by Ellen Altfest. All night, people joked, "Have you seen Ellen Altfest's Penis?"

The discipline-specific show, featuring paintings by women of men, covers a range of representational painting. Chie Fueki's "Super" depicts a bodybuilding strong man, shimmering in a matrix of glitter, colored paper, and acrylic pixels. Ellen Altfest's "Penis" is an intricately detailed, indexical, naturalistic examination of a fellow painter's twignberries. Another anatomical detail, more vestigial perhaps than the essential organ, surfaces in Catherine Murphy's "Harry's Nipple." It's like a physiological transposition of Kenneth Noland or maybe Jasper Johns, in its concentric-circle composition.

We were excited to find Hilary Harkness' "Matterhorn" (1995). We remember reading recently in the Times about a painting HH made, as revenge for a harsh critique delivered by mathy Mel Bochner in their days together at that one school in New Haven (rhymes with "sale!"). And here it is: MB getting buggered by a she-bull with a strap-on.

Our favorite in show is the Clare Rojas construction.

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