tom moody

Linda Ridgway, Well Pull, 1990

linda_ridgway_well_pull_photo

Bronze, 39 x 12 x 5 1/2 inches

...from the show that was the subject of my first Artforum review in 1991

The dimensions above are from the gallery checklist. The dimensions in the Artforum photo caption are the same ones on the back of this press photo. My memory of the piece is that it jutted out from the wall 5 1/2 inches at the bottom, not 12 inches.

- tom moody

January 30th, 2018 at 8:09 pm

from the vault: my Artforum review of Linda Ridgway (author's cut)

ridgway1 ridgway2

PUBLISHED REVIEW
This was my first Artforum review and I was fairly happy with it. The editor (I assume Jack Bankowsky, who was reviews editor at the time) tightened up my prose, substituting formal words for some of my more casual phrasing (and added two "indeeds" that weren't in my draft). Normally the practice in the early 1990s was for editors to call the writer, read the piece through, and discuss changes. For my first two reviews I didn't get a call and several inaccurate descriptions of Ridgway's work went in. The "author's cut" of the review below corrects these errors.

Dallas Reviews, Artforum, October 1991
Linda Ridgway
GERALD PETERS GALLERY

Linda Ridgway isn’t generally thought of as an installation artist, but this exhibit of three-dimensional objects worked so well as a unit that one almost hated to think of its component parts removed from each other’s company. Though Ridgway’s abstractions function as autonomous works, here she positioned them to heighten their theatrical interaction: they sat resolutely on the floor, hung purposefully from walls, or dropped delicately from the ceiling. Indeed, her materials—bronze, wood, hemp, wax, cement, and hydrastone (finished with a broad spectrum of surface treatments and patinas)—were distributed throughout the gallery with a feeling of proportion verging on the mathematical. The result could be compared to an Oriental garden dotted with shapes and textures. In many of the works, the yin of serene orientalism plays off the yang of a certain Western lack of couth. Pristine forms hang from the wall in slings of dung-textured bronze. In Well Pull and Bishop’s Poem, both 1990, fibrous “hairs” protrude from smooth layers of cement. In Waking, 1990, a bronze talon points suggestively toward a punctured disk jutting from another work (Well Point, 1991). In each of these, the bombastic and the stately were dramatically wed.

Ridgway commands, but never flaunts, an impressive range of techniques; indeed, her handling of difficult substances and processes is so understated that viewers might almost have missed the fact that this show consisted of one virtuoso technical feat after another. Under her control, bronze becomes malleable, a material to be spun into spidery filaments or compacted into dense clumps; so transformed, it seems light-years distant from the stench and sweat of the foundry. In Plowman, 1990, the metal takes on strikingly different aspects: a battered pot, a tightly coiled mat, or an elegant line drawing in space.

Though I referred to Ridgway’s works as abstractions, the designation is not entirely fair; perhaps “abstract-plus” would be more accurate. Some of her pieces recall tools but, like archaeological artifacts in various stages of restoration, their original function is lost to us. Other objects, such as Hullman’s Three, 1990, with its tapering, fingerlike pods of rough bronze, might be vegetables that have managed to evade the watchful eye of the taxonomist. Still others evoke comparisons to immediately recognizable phenomena, as in Power of Ra (Domain), 1990-91, where a verdigris-tinted bronze cone suggests the action of a volcano, its peak collapsing into a crater, as a rivulet of bronze lava trickling down its slope. Nevertheless, in every case, shorthand descriptions of the works -- leaf, bracelet, basket, bullet, plumb bob -- seem inadequate as soon as they are uttered. Ridgway’s objects are signifiers sans signifieds, steadfastly deflecting attempts to label them while consistently inviting us to try. —Tom Moody

AUTHOR'S CUT

Dallas Reviews, Artforum, October 1991
Linda Ridgway
GERALD PETERS GALLERY

Linda Ridgway isn’t generally thought of as an installation artist, but this exhibit of three-dimensional objects worked so well as a unit that one almost hated to think of its component parts removed from each other’s company. Though Ridgway’s abstractions function as autonomous works, here she positioned them to heighten their theatrical interaction: they sat resolutely on the floor, hung purposefully from walls, or dropped delicately from the ceiling. Indeed, her materials—bronze, wood, hemp, wax, cement, and hydrastone (finished with a broad spectrum of surface treatments and patinas)—were distributed throughout the gallery with a feeling of proportion verging on the mathematical. The result could be compared to an Oriental garden dotted with shapes and textures. In many of the works, the yin of serene orientalism plays off the yang of a certain Western lack of couth. In Well Pull and Bishop’s Poem, both 1990, pristine forms hang from the wall in slings of dung-textured bronze. In Waking, 1990, fibrous “hairs” protrude from smooth layers of cement and wax. In Well Point, 1991, a bronze talon points suggestively toward a punctured disk jutting from the wall. In all of these, the rough and the stately were dramatically wed.

Ridgway commands, but never flaunts, an impressive range of techniques; in fact, her handling of difficult substances and processes is so understated that viewers might almost have missed the fact that this show consisted of one virtuoso technical feat after another. Under her control, bronze becomes malleable, a material to be spun into spidery filaments or compacted into dense clumps; so transformed, it seems light-years distant from the stench and sweat of the foundry. In Plowman, 1990, a multi-part work, the metal takes on strikingly different aspects: a battered pot, a tightly coiled mat, or an elegant line drawing in space.

Though I referred to Ridgway’s works as abstractions, the designation is not entirely fair; perhaps “abstract-plus” would be more accurate. Some of her pieces recall tools but, like archaeological artifacts in various stages of restoration, their original function is lost to us. Other objects, such as Hullman’s Three, 1990, with its tapering, fingerlike pods of rough bronze, might be vegetables that have managed to evade the watchful eye of the taxonomist. Still others evoke comparisons to immediately recognizable phenomena, as in Power of Ra (Domain), 1990-91, where a verdigris-tinted bronze cone suggests the action of a volcano, with its peak collapsing into a crater and a rivulet of bronze lava trickling down its slope. Nevertheless, in every case, shorthand descriptions of the works -- leaf, bracelet, basket, bullet, plumb bob -- seem inadequate as soon as they are uttered. Ridgway’s objects are signifiers sans signifieds, steadfastly deflecting attempts to label them while consistently inviting us to try. —Tom Moody

- tom moody

January 30th, 2018 at 11:42 am

Posted in artforum reviews

my show at Honey Ramka ends today

"Pre-Post-Internet," the exhibition, ends today. :-( Thanks to Honey Ramka for installing, displaying, and documenting the show -- it was a pleasure working with them. And thanks to the Frieze Teens group for visiting last week. (Photo via the gallery's Instagram hashtags #friezeteens, #tommoody, #prepostinternet)
That's Jesse Martin of Honey Ramka in the center of the photo. Some photos and commentary by Frieze Teens member weirdaesthete are below.

friezeteens_650

- tom moody

January 28th, 2018 at 5:56 am

Posted in art - tm

F-Factor 2, installation view

weirdaesthete1_crop

weirdaesthete1_650

at Honey Ramka gallery, Dec 2017-Jan 2018
Thanks to weirdaesthete of the Frieze Teens group for this Instagram photo (hashtag #tommoody) and the nice commentary

- tom moody

January 28th, 2018 at 5:42 am

Posted in art - tm

Knob Twiddlers, installation view

weirdaesthete4_knobtwiddlers

...at Honey Ramka gallery, Dec 2017-Jan 2018
Thanks to weirdaesthete of the Frieze Teens group for this Instagram photo (hashtag #tommoody)

- tom moody

January 28th, 2018 at 5:34 am

Posted in art - tm

sketch_o2, sketch_n7

weirdaesthete2sketches

installation view at Honey Ramka gallery, Dec 2017-Jan 2018
Thanks to weirdaesthete of the Frieze Teens group for this Instagram photo (hashtag #tommoody)

- tom moody

January 28th, 2018 at 5:30 am

Posted in art - tm

"Three Things They Taught Me"

streaming audio on Bandcamp

[embedded player removed]

Opening track of my new Bandcamp release, Layered Timeline Events. The track features samples from a youtube-famous sales motivational speaker.
LP notes:

"Layered timeline events" is a prosaic way of saying "songs," in the DAW world of ingrained software conventions (which I happen to like at the moment).

I'm also interested in a place where modular synth and PC music are indistinguishable. Typically I have no idea what was used to make what a few weeks after finishing a tune so I must be succeeding.

The LMMS workstation was used on a number of these tracks, hence the "street" version of its logo (lmms.io/download/artwork/) used in the cover graphic. Also employed were Carla, Tracktion's Waveform DAW, and a bunch of Eurorack investments, I mean, modules.

"Organleggers" is a Larry Niven term, especially appropriate in an era when the elite of Silicon Valley enjoys transfusions of youthful blood to stay alive.

- tom moody

January 25th, 2018 at 10:24 am

Posted in music - tm

resist this

Much as it may sadden starry-eyed believers in Russian conspiracy mumbo-jumbo, it's quite possible that the Orange One's election owes more to a last-minute injection of "dark money" from American fat cats than commies-under-the-bed meddling. So argues Thomas Ferguson, who studied the funding patterns [Vice].

Also, if Trump is a Russian agent, why did Congressional Dems just pass a FISA bill giving him unbridled powers to spy on American citizens without a warrant?

- tom moody

January 24th, 2018 at 10:20 am

Posted in around the web

twitter navel-gazing

Posted a new music release -- embeds to follow. Have been "promoting" these on twitter but feel increasingly uncomfortable doing that. One, because twitter is a horrible cluttered mess of photos, media and ads these days, swallowing up expression. Two, because twitter is becoming "Orwellian," or more Orwellian, as discussed by comedian/commentator Jimmy Dore: [hooktube video]

As Dore notes (quoting Mark Ames), anyone to the left of Hillary Clinton could qualify as a Russian disinformation agent, so Twitter may be arbitrarily suppressing legitimate dissent. Who wants to be in that environment? Mark Ames, obviously, but who else?

dore1

dore2

dore3

dore4

dore_ames

Certain friends and former friends believe that (i) the US had no problems under Obama, (ii) Hillary Clinton was an acceptable alternative to orange cheetoh-head, (iii) all the problems in the US began with the Orange One's election, (iv) the Deep State is our friend because it wants to depose Orange Cheetoh-head, (v) allegations of Russian disinfomation are good, noble, and true, because they serve the cause of deposing the orange one. These people are to be pitied; some may still be friends when they come to their senses and quit parroting CNN talking points.

- tom moody

January 22nd, 2018 at 7:04 am

Posted in around the web

bob and predator

bobrosspredator

Image via "roxannejackson_" on Instagram

- tom moody

January 18th, 2018 at 5:20 pm

Posted in art - others