Kuspit, Donald, Artforum International
That Cheryl Goldsleger's deserted architecture is a kind of grand world theater is certainly suggested by the amphitheater in Vortex, 1993, and by its equally grandiose, engulfing form in the other charcoal drawings presented in this show. In a world theater, the actors are all tokens of fate, just as the scenery is cosmic and stark, seemingly inevitable. Though full of the signs of human presence--chairs scattered as though people had just got up and left the scene--the actors are never present, rather, the architecture itself becomes the actor. This architecture is dramatic in itself, not only because of its bizarre structure--an eccentric composite of columns without capitals, walls that do not form rooms but are aligned with each other like monumental Minimalist sculptures, opaque exits and entrances--but also because of Goldsleger's brilliant chiaroscuro, sometimes stark, sometimes more graded, always exquisitely played. Because of this tonal morbidity, and because of what can only be called the violence of absence in her images, their monumentality seems aborted, the architecture never complete.
Virtually every work--and these are the largest, most overwhelming works Goldsleger has made--images the vortex, which is sometimes elliptical but more often rectilinear in character. Even though there is clearly a center to the vortex, however displaced, there is also the sense that it is a false center--that we are in an infinitely extending labyrinth. …