Magazine article Artforum International

Chivas Clem: Maccarone, Inc

Magazine article Artforum International

Chivas Clem: Maccarone, Inc

Article excerpt

By referencing the Mallarmean metaphysics of Yves Klein's high-modernist "void" of 1960 in the title of his first solo show, Chivas Clem might be posing the possibility that a poetic revolution still lurks in the pornographic banality of today's globalized, high-speed Spectacle. Or he might also be asking, skeptically: Is art even possible after Microsoft, after CNN? For "Leap into the Void," Clem's "material" of choice is the digital image--outputted onto glossy sheets of unframed photo paper and ink-jetted onto bare canvas. The content of these images is 95 percent the flimsy, flashy stuff of the Web, TV, and tabloids: paparazzi shots of scandal-branded celebrities, news photos ranging from a chained and blindfolded Lynette "Squeaky" Fromm in 1970-something to a captured Taliban soldier on a 2001 New York Times cover. There is a dandyish ease and perverse wit both in Clem's nonchalant reduction of artmaking to the common, everyday activity of clicking-dragging-dropping and in his knack for interior decorating. Ease is part of the concept, slyly exposing the fact that every consumer of information and symbol manager today is, like it or not, basically operating as a conceptual artist. With the clean, lightheaded, lots-of-less (three floors' worth) feel of this show, Clem doesn't seem to be doing much more than clicking on "gallery."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

If Klein's art was driven by a mystical fascination with nothingness--his sublime void was terrifying, but it also held the promise of purity and infinite rebirth, of beginning or creating again from zero--Clem leaps into the emptiness of TV Guide and takes the art world with him. In Untitled (Portrait of OJ Simpson), 1999, an enlarged page from a Sotheby's catalogue shows a Warhol painting of Simpson offered for sale (to help fund his legal defense) by the accused murderer himself. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.