“Begin by listening
Sound informs Glenn Ligon’s Come Out series. In these screen print paintings, Ligon’s recurrent phrase ‘come out to show them’ uses the space between lines, between word and word, letter and letter, to expand on his primary source – Steve Reich’s 1966 taped-speech composition Come Out – and lay down their own tracks…In whirring repetitions, Ligon perfectly captures what Richard Serra called Reich’s ‘sound of sheer anxiety.’”
Drawing and speaking are very close. To speak is a form of spatial demarcation, linguistically establishing the relationship between a concept and its sound pattern. Set loose in the 1960s and ‘70s, drawing suddenly determined rather than reflected its subject. In curator Catherine de Zegher’s elegant group show you could all but hear what happened: drawing found its voice.
Each part of Fischer’s installation worked separately and in concert with others, the whole simultaneously muscular and fragile. At a time when easy literalness seems the order of the day Fischer is refreshingly suggestive, the work oneiric yet unmystical. The running theme of the exhibition: Americans’ axial and contradictory yearnings for the seductions of mobility and the rootedness of home.
Shore seems to tap into the secret lives of our inanimate companions, showing the ways machines—above all cars—are integral to American life. He knows the lilies of American absurdity need no gilding, only to be perfectly captured on film.
Paper’s opacity, its inherently baffling ability to absorb, filter, and block light fascinated filmmaker Lotte Reiniger. Using careful cutting and ingenious lighting, she transported even the plainest paper from flatness to depth. Her insistently simple materials combined with the deliberately fanciful stories resulted in work both fresh and oddly familiar, even now. When asked how her work related to the realities of 1923, Reiniger replied, “Why should it?”
There’s a sunshine bleakness to Thomson’s distinctly Californian work, the quick-witted pieces imbued with the contradictions that have made that state a bellwether for American society and culture during recent decades. Crazy fact and fiction blends are Hollywood’s leading export, a force that helps shape the global culture. With a light touch and surgical-strike humor, Thomson slyly suggests we examine more closely our tidy 24-frames-per-second view of ourselves.
Few artists, with the undeniable exception of James Turrell, exploit the convergence of light and solids or the resemblances of air and water as Mitzi Pederson does. Merely entering the understated show of sculpture and drawings seemed to disrupt the small room’s delicate equilibrium and lagoonal tension. Her precision seems effortless, the pieces more glancing clues than complete evidence.