-- A Cyberspace Review Of The Arts

Volume 21.5
December 8, 2014


Vivian Maier Documentary

See the Vivian Maier Newsletter for the story about the new documentary. Our review of Vivian Maier's work is here.

(Title image removed due to copyright restrictions imposed by owner of the photograph of which it was a detail.)

Greer Lankton at Participant

Wikipedia sums it up: 'Greer Lankton (1958, Flint, MI — November 18, 1996, Chicago, IL) was a prolific American artist known for creating lifelike, sewn dolls that were often modeled on friends and celebrities and posed in elaborate theatrical settings. She was a key figure in the East Village art scene of the 1980s in New York.' Eighteen years after her death, she is having a show at Participant, at 253 East Houston Street in New York.

The most important thing I could say to you about this show would be something that would get you down there to look at it. (It will be up until December 21, so there is still time!) If I say 'dolls' or 'Expressionism' or 'transgender' or 'Egon Schiele' or even 'horror' -- some of the work is well and truly horrific -- I will not be conveying much. Many of these categories have been flogged pretty hard in recent years. Greer Lankton was well ahead of the current wave.

If you can't get to Participant, you're mostly out of luck -- the significant part of the show (to me) is mainly sculpture, that is, the dolls and figures she made -- but you can get some idea of it looking at the pictures I provide here and on the sites linked to below. These sites also contain analyses and memoirs for those who like that sort of thing. This work particularly reminded me that, just as the poetry in poetry is the part you can't translate, so the art in art is the part you can't analyze or define. The photographs here are basically random snapshots and are by no means a definitive record of the whole show; they are what someone took with a medium camera one afternoon as he walked through the exhibition. They are mostly as taken, not edited, straightened out, hyped.

In honor of the old Downtown aesthetic, I have taken care not to title them or describe their contents, obvious and not so obvious. Some of this work comes from a sort of central collection currently resident at the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh; some was drafted recently from local people. The offical lender for the show is the Greer Lankton Archives Museum (G.L.A.M.)

The show is as well (although this is not explicit) a sort of memorial to that bygone age, the 'Downtown Scene' of the 1980s, which had a lot to do with the level of pre-gentrification rent in what is now the ever-expanding, ever up-and-coming real estate domains of Soho and the East Village. You can get a sense of what life was like then from some of the work, some of the memorabilia. But the past is not only another country, it's another planet. It is true that a few extraterrestrials remain in the area, not quite yet all scourged out, but it's significant the ultimate repository of Ms Lankton's work is an 'alternative space' in Pittsburgh.

This is your chance to see it here and now.

Some URLs:

Wikipedia article:

2007 life & work article:

A memoir:

Participant curator Lia Gangitano's account:

Particpant press release:

GL archives museum (on Facebook):

Collection of photos:

Review of present show:

video:Interview at Whitney Biennial, 1995:

video: From the Mattress Factory:

video: Ad for 2011 Hollywood show:

GL Times obit http:

Mattress Factory:

Participant, Inc:

Pictures of the Exhibition


Many of the images below include graphic, explicit depictions of sexual body parts, situations, and activities. Some include depictions of surgical operations. And there is some overlap between these two sets. If you find such material disturbing or offensive, don't look at it.

(Note: several images of portrait photographs had to be removed due to strict copyright restrictions placed on even low-resolution reproduction of the photographs in the show. Fans of copyright might want to reflect on the likely effect, if any, of this restriction.)

E A R L I E R     A R T I C L E S

Judith Schaechter's
  'Dark Matter'

Judith Schaechter's Dark Matter is a show of stained-glass light-boxes and sculpture at the Claire Oliver Gallery in Chelsea at 513 West 26th Street, New York, presently up and open until Saturday, October 25.


Our Publisher Becomes A Conceptual Artist


Kara Walker: Subtlety (detail)
Kara Walker: Subtlety (detail)

[permanent link to this article]


The Draughtsman's Congress

[permanent link to this article]

Announcement and Preview
by Susan Roecker

Read the PDF here....

Exhibition opening
Sunday, November 17th, 2013 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm
368 East 8th Street, NYC (between C & D)
or see

Sara Schneckloth

Sara Schneckloth, 2013 (detail)
Sara Schneckloth, 2013 (detail)

at Soho20 and the
Fowler Arts Collective

In late June and early July of this year, Sara Schneckloth, an artist currently working in South Carolina who should be known better here (and in the world) visited the Fowler Art Collective in Greenpoint to do several days of intense work (ten hours a day, according to the artist) on her characteristic drawing. A few months previously (in March) she had a brief show at Soho20 in Chelsea, sharing the space with some other artists.


Minerva, Model (Elizabeth Hellman), and Artist Demonstrate in Petrosino Square Plaza
Minerva, Model (Elizabeth Hellman), and Artist Demonstrate in Petrosino Square Plaza

The Battle of Petrosino Square

A war of sorts has broken out between two improbable belligerent parties around a little-known pocket park in Lower Manhattan, Petrosino Square. On the one side are some of the immediately local residents of the rather unusual neighborhood that surrounds the park; on the other, the Greenwashing Department of Citibank. The central issue is the Citibike installation in the park's plaza, which has preempted a space intended and used for large public works of art.



Battle of Carnival and Lent (detail)
Battle of Carnival and Lent (detail)

Judith Schaechter: Battle of Carnival and Lent At Claire Oliver Gallery, NYC

This is not a review, but a pointer to the announcement of Judith Schaechter's upcoming show at the Claire Oliver Gallery in New York, where you can see the works we reviewed while they were still at the Eastern State Penitentiary site in Philadelphia. The show will be there from May 23d until June 29, and there is a reception with the artist on May 23d from 6 to 8 p.m. The Claire Oliver Gallery is at 513 West 26th St. in New York.

For more information, see the announcement,; see the Artezine article for an idea of what to expect.


S H E L L    G A M E

Molly Crabapple: Great American Bubble Machine (detail)
Molly Crabapple: Shell Game / Great American Bubble Machine (detail)

'Shell Game': Molly Crabapple At Smart Clothes Gallery

This is not a review, just a pointer to this show and artist, whose most recent works have been noticed in Wired, The New York Times, HuffPo, The Village Voice, and so forth. The public show opening is at 7 p.m. April 14th (this evening as I'm writing this) and is to be an Event. It will be up for only a short time. I strongly recommend it; the artist's combination of a sensuous, indeed luscious graphic style, sharp wit, surrealism, humor, and political consciousness are not to be missed.

See the artist's web site for further information.

The gallery is at 154 Stanton Street (corner of Suffolk Street in the Lower East Side) and the opening is at 7 p.m. April 14.


Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt at MoMA/PS1

Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt: Tender Love Among The Junk (installation)

Entering this exhibition, which occupies one of the larger spaces at MoMA/PS1, was overwhelming. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it. The entire space is filled with numerous, mostly shiny artifacts, made of the most diverse materials, mostly things one might obtain from a 99-cent store or a trash pile. Several themes and concerns come together: formal pictorial and plastic values; religious sensibility and aesthetics; Gay and general sexuality; class politics; diverse cultures; the conflicts and cross-pollination between these elements.


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Judith Schaechter

Judith Schaechter: Andromeda
Judith Schaechter: Andromeda

at Eastern State Penitentiary

   by Gordon Fitch

On a chilly day late in November, as the sun was already declining towards the horizon, I found myself within the heavy, gray stone walls of a prison, or rather the ruin of a prison....
Read about it here!

Susan Roecker's Cat(s)

Susan Roecker
Susan Roecker

at Avenue C Gallery

-- read about them here --

Vivian Maier: detail of book cover self-portrait

Like a figure in a dream, Vivian Maier begins to disappear even as we catch sight of her. With one ambiguous gesture she points out our world and shows us things that were always there, but which we had never seen; with another, she declines our questions and steps back into the darkness. We want to call out to her to wait, but the dream silences us, and then she is gone forever. We turn and, scattered all around us, see the objects of her work, an enormous treasure we will spend years, even lifetimes, trying to order and decode. About Maier herself, we can mostly only guess. ... -- more --




December 8, 2014