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new york reviews|
by joan kee
at Ronald Feldman
Jan. 11-Feb. 15, 1997
Following her "Maps of China" series, installation artist Nancy Chunn has continued her politically charged trajectory in her newest series, "Front Pages of the New York Times." Using actual front pages from all 366 editions of last year's Times, Chunn added her own witty and caustic comments to the articles through a proliferation of Day-Glo colors and snappy slogans stenciled over the articles themselves with crayon and pastel. One choice example is the headline, "Romanian Orphans: Prisoners of Their Cribs," under which Chunn has slyly inserted the one- liner, "Newt was NOT here." Other favorite subjects that Chunn targets include chauvinistic military officers, racist politicians and corruption scandals.
Each page is compiled by month to form a giant "front page" and the brilliant magentas, electric blues and school-bus yellows contrast with the somber black print and gray newsprint. The bold, often grating colors suggest that the thoughts of the individual, or the unspoken gist of a politician's ploy or policy, is more vivid than the news itself. Her eclectic visual and verbal references include everything from Jasper Johns to Muhammad Ali, which gives her work an added degree of complexity beyond the confines of armchair politics. Yet the most telling impact of Chunn's work perhaps lies in the multiplicity of recurring icons--dollar bills or refrigerator magnet-like missile or icons throughout all twelve months of the series which ultimately remind the viewer that despite the constant flux of headlines and names, the events themselves never really change.
Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, 31 Mercer Street, New York City, N.Y. 10013.