Thursday, January 23, 2014

Helter Helter

I scooted up to the Guggenheim to see the Christopher Wool show on its last day. All the mostly-monochromatic paintings and photos looked brilliant in Frank Lloyd Wright's space. Wool's work is cerebral, provocative, and verbal. The word paintings struck a chord. The wry "Helter Helter" set up on a perfect grid was smart, clever. But, speaking of words, I found I responded as much to the wordy and well-written wall texts as to Wool's somewhat-aloof appropriations. The curator (or whoever it was) had me at "down-at-heels nocturnes."

The full quote is, "While steadily refusing the spectacle of actual violence, these down-at-heel nocturnes vibrate with the same wounded disaffection and malevolent threat that courses through so many of Wool's word paintings." Many well-crafted words to describe such succinctly-crafted paintings! 

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