Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Steve Wolfe on Paper at the Whitney Museum of American Art

Copying book covers may seem like a simple-minded idea, but the experience of Mr. Wolfe's works is surprisingly rich---visually, conceptually, psychologically and sociologically. Above all, you sense in his art a kind of monkish devotion that turns feats of technique into icons of a deeply personal religion.

"Wolfe's trompe l'oeil paintings, drawings and sculpture at the Whitney appear initially to be more examples of  the"appropriation" school, where artists 'recontextualize' other artists' creations to shed light on society and the culture industry at large....but read Wolfe's press release, or the exhibition information on the wall at the Whitney, and you'll get a surprise....Wolfe's creations are works of astonishing craftsmanship and conceptual rigor, which succeed in turning the"appropriation" M.O. on its head by actually incorporating skill into what's normally criticized as an ongoing art world stunt." - from the NYT