Friday, February 13, 2009

Fred Sandback at David Zwirner & Zwirner and Wirth

Jeez, I love the work of Fred Sandback. If you haven't gone to UES or W. 19th St. to see the concurrent shows, don't miss them. His work always reminds me that the greatest genius distills a concept down to the simplest materials. Who would have imagined before he appeared that thread and wire could shape and distort space? Who could have imagined that drawing could be a three dimensional exercise? I marvel every time I see his work.

I have little to add to what has been already written about this show (Holland Cotter's review in the NYTimes is right on the money) other than to note a small anomaly I've noticed. Sandback's work obviously is very effective in person. It's also very effective in two dimensions in his prints and drawings. But he seems to utterly fail in photographs. When I see his sculptures in photographs, I can hardly imagine that they are the masterworks that I know. This isn't a particularly illuminating observation except for the fact that the drawings are so VERY effective and powerful. They seem to point in a direction that says that the work can be represented in two dimensions. But photography is just not that medium, or the work suffers by being mediated by someone other than the artist himself.

Up on W. 19th St. through February 14th. UES through February 28th.
David Zwirner
Zwirner and Wirth

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