THE DAILY PIC

05.22.12

Eighties Art Still Lives

The Daily Pic: A show of John Baldessari and his peers proves how current they seem

At Winkleman Gallery, the artist and former gallerist Barbara Broughel has organized a show called "Loughelton Revisited," which gathers together work that was shown (or could have been shown) at her own Loughelton Gallery, once a highlight of the now-defunct East Village art scene. The works are from the 1980s, and include pieces by a number of now-famous names, including Richard Prince (under the pseudonym John Dogg),  Polly Apfelbaum and John Baldessari – whose "Studio," from 1988, is today's Daily Pic. The strange thing about that piece, like nearly every object in the show, is that it looks like it could have been made yesterday – which argues either for Broughel's farsighted vision as a dealer, or for the stagnation of artmaking today.

Maybe my favorite work in the show is Gary Bachman's (unphotogenic) "One Pound Prop", from 1986. It is a little  house-of-cards cube whose four sides are lead plates, three inches by three, that each weigh one quarter pound. And of course the whole thing's a knock-off and take-down of Richard Serra's macho "One Ton Prop," which was the same piece, made the same year, only chest-high and 2,000 times heavier. And here's a nice detail: Bachman's object exists in an edition of 2,000, so the total heft of his work matches Serra's.

For a full visual survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.