This attractive art book oozes with pretentiousnessAin both structure and content. According to Uwe Schneede of the Hamburger Kunsthalle (whose leaden essay opens this book), the Kunsthalle’s “WallWorks” exhibition was the first show to apply “the principle of the edition…to wall design.” That is, it was the first to showcase the annoying 1990s exhibition trend in which artists issued formal instructions for the permanent installation of their pieces. The catalog presents single works (or “interventions,” as Schneede calls them) by 29 artists, in sequence, with directions on proper wall placement (should one consider purchasing an “edition”). Despite numerous illustrations, the reader never sees what the art actually looks like in situ: each photograph shows only the art in color; its architectural surroundings are then reduced to a sterile black and white. This trick nicely highlights the work of such prominent artists as Gilbert and George, Julian Schnabel, and Rosemarie Trockel, but it renders the art contextless, making it art-as-mere-ornament. A marginal title documenting a bothersome fad; for comprehensive art collections only.ADouglas F. Smith, Oakland P.L., CA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.