Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Riding My Coattails As I Ride Robert's

Artforum rolls out a new issue on Wednesday, and Bruce Hainley has written a review of the great Menil Collection exhibit Robert Rauschenberg: Cardboards and Related Pieces. Hainley is comfortable with phrases like "solar anus" and "sibylline, antifreeze-green atmospherics" and printing large passages of other narrative elements including this illustrative bit from the horse's mouth:

For over five years I have deliberately used every opportunity with my work to create a focus on world problems, local atrocities and in some rare instances celebrate men’s accomplishments. I have strained in collecting influences to bring about a more realistic relationship between artist, science, and business, in a world that is risking annihilation for the sake of a buck. It is impossible to have progress without conscience. In doing this, I have had to concentrate almost exclusively on gloom and filter joy, investigate cruelty and suspect all changes. This is my responsibility, but it is exhausting.

After a while + the resistance a desire built up in me to work in a material of waste and softness. Something yielding with its only message a collection of lines imprinted like a friendly joke. A silent discussion of their history exposed by their new shapes. Labored commonly with happiness.

Boxes (1971)

Unfortunately Hainley digresses frequently, his discussions of Warhol's time capsules and Jasper Johns' sales in 1962 eclipse the work the review is meant to carry. Read mine instead! First printed back in May, I thought it was a little late at the time; the show had been up for months. Oh well, at least I'm not as lax as Artforum!

Whose article is better? Hailey or Carroll?