Artforum Web 3-2004 Critcs Picks
#1 Joseph Nechvatal
UNIVERSAL CONCEPTS UNLIMITED
507 West 24th Street
February 21March 27
The process of decay is also the process of life: Dust we are, unto dust we return, and so on. Here, Joseph Nechvatal's eight paintings"computer roboticassisted acrylic on canvas"overwhelm the main gallery with their luxuriant sense of theoretical and psychological decomposition. "Ignudio"as per the ignudo (singular) or ignudi (plural) of classical Italian paintingis Nechvatal's term for the nude form that's neither singular nor plural, masculine nor feminine. Through the computer hybridization of components of the male and female sexual anatomy, Nechvatal arrives at hermaphroditic abstractions weirdly in tune with the cultural white noise of the present moment. In attaining this "viractual" state (his word for something between the virtual and the actual), Nechvatal's work is simultaneously classical and futuristicpart anatomical rendering, part forensic voyeurism.