Rose Nolan by Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe

Part of the Editor's Choice series.

BOMB 63 Spring 1998
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Discover MFA Programs in Art and Writing

Rose Nolan

Rose Nolan, Tiny White Constructed Work, 1997, paper, glue, and matchbox, 5×4x3 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Rose Nolan makes two things, both of which recall Constructivism: banners bearing Cyrillic initials, underscoring their art historical provenance but replacing a collective referent with a personal one; and constructions, made out of cardboard and tape, which have a distinctly Tatlinish look. The banners, which imply lightness, are made of an especially thick and cumbersome hessian, while the constructions, which imply steel and the architectonic, are extremely flimsy. This poetic exchange of properties between these two types of work seems to me a sign of an interesting practice. I saw her work during a visit to Australia, and wondered whether being there, because of its considerable distance from more or less everywhere except Indonesia, didn’t permit a young artist to start almost anywhere she liked. At the same time (perhaps for related reasons) Nolan’s work has the virtue of being essentially placeless which our culture requires at this time, in the sense that we don’t actually care about identity as much as about ubiquity, of which the former is merely a recurrent aspect. Nolan has been to Russia, and lived in Melbourne’s Russian neighborhood, but what struck me was her work’s roughness and immediacy and the ease with which she adopted historically encumbered forms. Nolan’s practice is an example of the infinite proliferation of convergences possible nowadays, and the importance of placelessness in a global culture.

—Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe

Sadie Benning by Lia Gangitano
Benning Bomb 01
Olu Oguibe by Saul Ostrow
Brazil: Body and Soul at the Guggenheim by Carlos Brillembourg
Brazil 1 Body

Reviewer Carlos Brillembourg finds the absurd task of representing 500 years of Brazilian history in a single exhibit further hampered by Jean Nouvel’s Guggenheim redesign and the franchising of the museum brand.

Shahzia Sikander by David Hunt
Article 2403  Bomb 76 Siskander1

Sure, the painter Shahzia Sikander, born and raised in Pakistan, manages to flip the script on the whole history of Indian miniatures, but to position her as an artist throwing off the oppressive yoke of male patriarchy, Islamic censorship, or the pervasive Western fantasy of South Asian culture as simply some kind of prohibitive version of Footloose does a disservice to her work.

Originally published in

BOMB 63, Spring 1998

Featuring interviews with Gillian Wearing, Mona Hatoum, Jim Lewis, Dale Peck, Maureen Howard, John Sayles, Steve Earle, Martin McDonagh, Victor Garber, and Alfred Molina.

Read the issue
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