Time Out New York
August 7-14, 2003, Issue 410, p. 67, ill.
by Barbara Pollack
Danese, through Aug. 26 (see 57th St.).
Seascapes and swimming pools are kept to a
minimum by “H2O,” a group exhibition curated by Jo-Anna Isaak that
takes a refreshingly complex tack in approaching this age- old theme. Here,
a new crew of Turners and Homers take the plunge discovering some of the
more murky undercurrents of this seemingly transparent subject.
Watercolors might seem the natural choice for
water-oriented artworks, but video proves an equally effective medium for
conveying fluidity. In "Ebb," Amy Jenkins projects an image of an uncannily
lifelike bathing woman into a scaled down porcelain tub: we watch as her
menstrual fluid flows out of the pink tinted bathwater back into its source,
her body. Janet Biggs’ poetic video, "Apraxia," combines a water ballet with
the fountain of youth, as two elderly women regain flexibility and grace in
the buoyancy of a swimming pool. The body—which is 90 percent water—is still
more viscerally evoked in Jeanne Silverthorne’s "Sweat Pore," a magnified
view of a single pore, cast in rubber and encased in a dark baroque frame.
Sally Mann updates the “bathers” tradition in "Three Graces," which shows
the artist and her two daughters, naked and exuberantly peeing on a seashore
Water pollution is a subtheme in this compact
exhibition of 24 artists. In his "Environmental Aesthetic Series," Mark
Jones tones black and white photos of industrial views to suggest the
presence of invisible poisonous fluids contaminating our water supply.
Christy Rupp fill an oversize wire armature, shaped like a nautilus, with
clear plastic water bottles, using typical beachfront garbage to address the
issue of ocean pollution. Kiki Smith approaches the topic more obliquely,
summing up a wealth of sorrow in a succinct gesture with "Brown Water"—ten
large, tea-colored glass tears displayed on a pedestal.