Drew Beattie &
Daniel Davidson,
Teacher's Pet, 1997

servetar selects
by stuart servetar

at Joseph Helman

Jan. 29-Mar. 1, 1997

Joseph Helman loves to hang out in his gallery giving tours to interested visitors, especially now that he's shed his former partner Irving Blum. Part of Helman's new program is to get some juice from downtown. Thus this group show with the funny name, which refers loosely to works with collage elements and also to the short-lived but profitable late `80s Neo- Geo style. Among the artists, Amy Sillman continues to bring it home. Even in a group context, Sillman chooses to show works that are strong in and of themselves and not mere calling cards for future solo flights. Ugly is a bit of a one liner but a ringing one at that, while Family proves a gripping psychological portrait of Mom and Dad only a grown-up painter at the top of her game could execute. The oh so fin de siècle painting duo of Drew Beattie and Daniel Davidson seem to be easing more comfortably into their partnership. Teachers Pet, unless I'm mistaken, seems a lovely throw to Miro's painting of the same name. Their works here do have annoyingly self- conscious writing on their faces, but generally they seem to be moving in a direction worth following. Manuel Ocampo is Ocampo and that's good enough by far. Meanwhile, Christian Schumann seems to be lightening and loosening up a bit and even Jack Featherly, the young chap who is want to put his own name in his abstractions, comes off as way less overbearing. Also included are Patrick Thorne and Georganne Dean.

Joseph Helman, 20 West 57th Street, New York, N.Y. 10019.