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  1. Wealth
September 13, 2012

Gagosian's Shows Get Graded

By Spear's

Kenny Schachter gives Gagosian Gallery’s shows an end-of-term report – and there’s plenty of room for improvement…

Kenny Schachter gives Gagosian Gallery’s shows an end-of-term report – and there’s plenty of room for improvement…

Gagosian Magazine? Yes, how else do you keep track of what is happening in 47 disparate galleries in as many countries?

Let’s give a little report card for the first semester back to school.

Madison Ave: Mark Grotjahn sculptures. I’d say he was spending too much time at the warehouse where Gogo stores the Rauschenberg estate. Looks like result of orgy with Rausch., Tom Sachs and Kippenberger; in other words, not a happy ending. Grade D

Karen Kneffel. A German painter who used to paint close-up, mannerist farm animals, perfect accessories for kitchens of Swiss collectors, is now doing tripped out interiors. I’d give her an A for effort, were it not for this blurb in the mag: ‘Conflating perspectives both real and mimetic with nuanced phenomenological observations…’ What the fuck? Grade C

West 24th Street: Richard Phillips. Ah Richard Phillips. He used to make sculptures that were kind of like plush diner banquettes that hung on the wall, and I am not convinced the leap to realistic painting was completely the wisest. Here we are presented with loads of Lindsay-Lo in underwear, bikinis and stalked by paparazzi. Personally I prefer my schlock from the Daily Mail, NY Post or TMZ.com, thank you very much. Grade C-

Beverly Hills: William Eggleston. I am amazed he is still alive, since the galleries bleed him, then re-bleed, sucking the Seventies out of him as if he were a bug frozen in amber. Where was he kicking around in 1987? There must have been something happening in 1994? Even 2002, Christ, give him a chance to show other bodies of work and us a chance to appreciate them. Grade C

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Britannia Street, London: Cy Twombly, ‘The Last Paintings’. I am beyond a fan of the sublime scribblings of the acknowledged master, but in this instance, let’s just say he stopped at a good time in his oeuvre. Grade B

And some last words for Franz West, the anti-Koons maker of non-monuments. I am a sucker for pretty much everything he’s ever done. The works are formal (and a mess at same time), colorful, probing, asinine, challenging and I am seduced from top to bottom. He gets the cover and more for his last show, ‘Man with a Ball’. And from the looks of it, he very much had a ball till the very end. RIP, A+ and thank you.

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