No, this isn't a post about Dale Peck. It's about a review in the NY Observer by Mario Naves of our friend Susan Wanklyn's show at Cheryl Pelavin. I think it's hilarious -- the heart sinks! And it's never bad to have your review next to one about Robert Ryman.
Notwithstanding its virtues, Ms. Wanklyns art points to a problem common to artists who have come of age since the rise of Conceptualism: a disconnect between form and content. You remember that old sawwell, its been so thoroughly trounced upon by deconstructionists, postmodernists and nihilists of one stripe or another that its time to take the saw out of the closet, run a damp cloth over it and look at it anew. The legacy of Conceptual art is not a culture bereft of artistic talent, but a culture that is merely talent.
The scene is full of painters and sculptors with impressive technical skill who have, in essence, nowhere to go with it. So they paint about something, burdening the work with Meaning. The ambition to imbue color or space or shape with meaningto grace form with a full-bodied and independent lifeis alien to a generation conditioned to believe that art is an adjunct to something else. Ms. Wanklyn has done some fine paintings in the past; shes likely to right herself in the future. But when her snarled doodles reveal themselves as stick figures of riders on horses, the eye cringes and the heart sinks.
Susan Wanklyn Action Figure #7 (2004) 9 x 11.5 inches, Casein on Paper