A R T   L E T T E R

The Timely Magazine of Art

#9 <previous/ next> Artletter index July 15, 1995

Public Art 95 in and around the Art League	

There is a fundamental conflict between the critical distance necessary for
modern art to work and public art's need to be integrated into the culture.
Modern public art will always look out of place, like someone who shows up
at the wrong party in the wrong dress. Richard Serra knew this. His Tilted
Arc relied on this antagonism for its success. Signage, advertising and
graffiti, the real public manifestations of our culture, are shunned as
eyesores, but the works in this show can't compete against such forceful
expressions. The best (Allen, Carroll) get lost and are  easily overlooked,
becoming irrelevant. The pieces in this show only look foolish trying to
make themselves heard in the crowded street environment. -B.D.& Delfina

Lisa Ludwig at Moody Gallery	8/5

The bulky monumentality of the real cake pieces makes it easy to take them
seroiusly despite their ephemeral materials. Best piece in the show is 
Eight Layers, Not Sliced, Uniced, a sloppy, flabby stack of rubbery cakes
mortared together with sticky icing.  The clay pieces are dull, without the
truth to materials (they're colored like bronze) or the zest of the actual

Kirk McCarthy at Inman Gallery                                                      8/12

Formally exquisite wall sculptures make you want to take them home.
Colors delicious. Physically sturdy but conceptually ephemeral, so not too
much shelf life, I'd guess -- but uncompromising. Honest. Delightful. What
you see is what you get.-Elizabeth McBride

Kirk McCarthy at Inman Gallery	 8/12

Works like Red Blob With Definition, Protrusion and Pulse succeed at
merging velvety surface and  carved form into a sense of weightless
insubstantiality; they're like flowers, exotic fish or micro-organisms, but 
I want more. McCarthy skirts the edges of several ideas which could give
this work more bite: cartoon references (Inside Track), commentary on 
Moore's abstractions (Posture), ephemeral materials (the pieces are already
shedding color), but he always stops short of engaging any of these issues,
preferring  to remain formal, beautiful, and safe.-B.D.

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