Three massive woodcut prints are installation at its finest, which is a tough feat in a show as clunky and loud in places as "Paper!" 

Everything in the room works together purposefully, even as other works tend to clash and distract. These three deserve thoughtful attention: Peter Drake's Slice (1987), Artemio Rodriguez's Triumph of Death (2007) — a mural, really, in which nine individual prints compose the bigger picture) — and Leonard Baskin's Everyman (1960) command and overpower the space.

There is so much worth spending time with here, and I haven't even talked about Frank Martin's or Craig Smith's large photographs or the sociopolitical works by noted Mexican printmakers like José Guadalupe Posada, Leopoldo Méndez, Alfredo Ramos Martínez, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. There's also so much that seems superfluous and/or nonsensical. I'm over the paper dresses, for one, and the fashion element (a Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel cigarette shirt?) amounts to little more than department store mannequins installed near the Lichtensteins.

Courtesy of Phoenix Art Museum

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Phoenix Art Museum

1625 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Category: Museums

Region: Central Phoenix

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The sheer magnitude of PAM's basement-cleaning is exhausting, but so is the prospect of the rest of June, July, and August. If we're lucky, nighttime temperatures will drop back into the 70s by the end of September, and life in the desert should make sense again.

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5 comments
Seandinaz
Seandinaz

No mention of Annie Lopez, especially since she's a local and the Contemporary Forum Mid Career Artist winner this year. Everyone knows the big names you dropped. We don't need a review in the paper to know they are good.

Poppy
Poppy

what about the giant pete deise "paper" sculpture at the entrance of the show? the fact that it is stainless steel formed to look like paper should be worthy of mentioning in your review...i found it worth seeing just for that alone. i could have done without the fake sticky notes posted around the room which i felt really sucked the wind out of an otherwise decent show.

Elissa Aleshire
Elissa Aleshire

Interesting that you don't like the paper dress, yet that is what you show in the photo. Editors make these choices, I suppose. Still, you do give us reason to take a look at the exhibit, and since it is summer, and you do give us reasons towards the end to take a look, I will. There are pieces we haven't seen before.

Sid
Sid

Interesting review, it almost seems as though you are convincing yourself as you write it that the exhibit has real worth. Your review begins with a panning headline(I know, the headlines are written by someone else)which disdains the exhibit concept, but by the end you're mentioning must-sees? I don't mean this to be uncomplimentary, it's nice to see your thinking process which eventually confesses to liking the show.

LilTommy
LilTommy

There's enough silicone there to caulk all the baths and kitchens in a large housing development.

 
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