Tuesday, May 22, 2012


My work is reviewed by DeWitt Cheng in Art Ltd.

Artforum, the art magazine published in New York City (after a childhood in San Francisco and adolescence in Los Angeles), is accorded ecclesiastical status by many art worlders, despite its history in the 1960s and '70s as the de-facto Ministry of Formalism, a purist doctrine now fallen into disrepute: an undoctrine, almost, in Orwell-speak. Francesca Pastine's sculptural interventions with copies of the magazine for the past four years, then, have a certain sly humor. Notes Pastine: "They were familiar fixtures in my friends' homes, nobody wanted to throw them away. I was intrigued by their square format, particularly when the bloated art market was reflected in their one-inch thickness... Starting with the covers, I cut, bend, manipulate, pull, and dig my way through them, revealing a visceral topography of art trends... My X-acto blade mimics a pencil, subtracting rather than adding... Through physically intervening with these familiar icons of the art establishment, I suffuse the inanimate with emotional power, creating a palpable complexity of form and information." Pastine's intricately cut assemblages resemble, variously, quilts, lava flows, tree fungi, clouds, and kids' pop-up books; some of them, labeled "unsolicited collaborations," name names--of famous, envied cover artists. From May 26 to July 7 at Eleanor Harwood Gallery.

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