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Author: Sante Scardillo --- Date: 12/22/95 --- Copyright: ThingReviews NYC

Gerhard Richter
Luhring Augustine Gallery
130 Prince Street
thru Jan. 13

Daniel Buren
John weber Gallery
142 Greene Street thru Dec. 23

"Art, Design and Barbie - the evolution of a cultural icon"
World Financial Center - Liberty Street Gallery
225 Liberty St.
Dec. 1 - Feb. 10

Essex St.

Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Av.


On a recent evening, I went to the Luhring Augustine Gallery to see the show of early paintings of Gerhard Richter. I went toward closing and had a wonderful time: I had the gallery to my lonely self and took in the paintings, some of which were a rendition of images in the show of snapshots that I enjoyed so much at Dia Center for the Arts. What was better, closing never seemed to come. I stayed undisturbed until 6.30, altogether a cathartic experience (on a successive visit the gallery was crowded and the gaggle of assistants working in the back made a racket that incapacitated this viewer).

On I went to the anthological show opening of Daniel Buren at John weber Gallery. The work, much well known, is naturally splendid and well presented, accompanied by a slide presontation of his major projects. Buren was to fly to Paris on the Concord the next day (who said there is crisis in the art world?) and beamed.

Out again, I bicycled in the frigid weather to "Art Design and Barbie" (subtitled: The evolution of a cultural icon). In front of a dubious King Kong plaster cast holding a Barbie hailing "The match of the century" (title actually written on a violet pedestal), I started asking questions. Why such show? Why am I here? What am I learning? Who cares if John Baldessarri and Andy Warhol put Barbie in one of their works? The amount of security men and women gave the gathering an eery feeling, possibly they were protecting the babylonian atrium of 2 World Financial Center, a fitting background for the most glamorous doll in the world. Slick press package, imposing buffet (four 40 ft. tables) filled with pop corn, peanuts, processed cheese, diet biscuits. Barbie food.

Soon every woman in sight resmbled Barbie and many men Ken. The show, though laid out in different parts, is unashamed public relations embellished by artists' renditions of the superdoll. So, what else is new? Well, they could have really done something with it. There was even a barboleum (my definition) with Barbies as caryatides and giant land sculptures of her recumbent, perfect body.

On my bicycle again, I crossed the spectral financial district, Chinatown and the desrted orthodox Jewish area at the bottom of Essex street to reach a place aptly named "Limbo" for a reading whose cuprit I shall pass naming. When I arrived, a pathetic creature was standing in sub-freezing weather to "Not disturb". She could have not possibly: space had to be surreptitiously subtracted from the door. At the first pause though, I preceded 2 young ravers who had been trapped for an hour in a dense crowd of thirty-forty-something-deep-in-family-therapy faces, in empathy with the tale of dysfunctional relations their bard was administering. I sympathized deeply with the young ravers and limited my damage to a few minutes of such treatment.

I turned the corner for an enticing program of excerpts from golden oldies at Anthology Film Archives. I resold my ticket when I found out that they were on video, not film, but stayed after much cajoling by Sophie Fenwick, the organizer of a Cine Club that meets there bi-weekly and by Thomas Zummer, a sweet furry creature who was responsible for the program. But, alas, another reading followed by actual excerpts, the visual sources for the ideas. The reading was the battlehorse of the performance. Zummer read from experiences and projects endevoured while he was a National Archives film librarian. on "The computer as blunt object," bacteria and pheromone play a part in scrambling memory that contains all films, producing interesting cross-fertilizations of sets and characters from different movies, in free associations by Zummer--the computer as young LSD user. The post program drink and chat was pleasant as usual. Will resume in January.

-Sante Scardillo

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Anastasia Di Wit --

Here I am bored off my ass in the middle of the fucking flat midwest and i tripped across this thing, er your thing...Whatever! I wanted to read a reveiw see what is up in the culture sewer, and I see more than here, but hey that is easy... So could you tell me a little more about Ger hard on Richer? I am suffuring in this art school in the middle of the corn, enrich me Mr. Thanks, Anastasia Di Wit

Daniel --

Your so concerned with your self that you use Gerhard Richer to get our attention. Why not bicycle over to the Avenue of Ideas and have one on us. When you've got one call.

Bill Rockwell -- GalfordG

Enjoyed the review, having heard it from SS in person. I can't imagine a more frustrating experience than that which you had where the critical dimension of Barbie's reign over feminine physique wasn't explored. I am also surprised that the KEN dilemma wasn't delved into as well. But did you really expect hor d'oevres beyond the white trash kind when you arrived? Please respond. And thank you...

shands greenlee --

what does this have to do with daniel buren?