Saul Fletcher: Anton Kern Gallery

By Barliant, Claire | Artforum International, Summer 2006 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Saul Fletcher: Anton Kern Gallery


Barliant, Claire, Artforum International


"But what does the painter think about his work--which in itself appears to be unresolved--being framed, enclosed, placed in an interior?," a journalist wrote in 1920, after visiting Piet Mondrian's Paris studio. "His studio answers for him. The walls of the room ... are hung with painted or unpainted canvases, so that each wall is actually a kind of larger-scale painting with rectangular fields." Saul Fletcher's photograph, Untitled (Fog and Rain), 2005, which shows a loose pattern of black vertical lines on a roughly painted surface, recalls Mondrian's 1915 Pier and Ocean, but a comparison between the two artists sheds more light on process than on style.

As Mondrian's visitor's observation suggests, the studio is a place where an artist may assert control over context, and Fletcher exploits this potential to the full. Treating one wall of his studio as a changeable platform for improvisation, he uses paint and found objects to create compositions that have been rightly compared to both Robert Rauschenberg's Combines and Joseph Cornell's boxes and takes pictures of them, merging photography's documentary and expressive functions. Fletcher turns an installation of indeterminate (but almost certainly large) scale into something small and intimate--his photographs are never larger than nine-and-a-half by seven-and-a-half inches. But it would be wrong to take these emotionally rich and intriguing images for mere cerebral exercises.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Indeed, despite the hermetic circumstances of their making, Fletcher's images are open and honest, bearing straightforward subtitles. Eleven of these were on view in his show at Anton Kern Gallery, which also included evidence of his recent expansion into painting and sculpture. In one photograph, Untitled #180 (My Surrender), 2005, a soldier in a pirate hat is submissive yet still dashing, as though he were plotting a fast getaway (he also seems to be a surrogate for the artist).

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Saul Fletcher: Anton Kern Gallery
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?