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BETWITCHED
by Charlie Finch
 
"For the first time, Charlie, I am using a fabricator," Lane Twitchell revealed about his show at Roebling Hall on Eleventh Avenue through Apr. 5, 2008. What? No more obsessive paper folding and cutting to create psychedelic prisms equating the Westward journey of Lane’s tangential ancestor Brigham Young with modern suburban sprawl and the growth of the Interstate?

"I’ve always thought that Lane needed time for his drawing," remarked Joel Beck, the mystic maven of Roebling. Apparently, Twitchell now digitizes his drawings and hires some latter-day saint to cut his new pieces out of vellum before urethaning on them. The result is a series of symmetries which open the doors of perception through the central figures of a little girl, a wolf and a frog.

Concentrating on these three friendly faces, reminiscent of John Tenniel’s drawing of the Cheshire Cat, permits the viewer to twitch open his third eye and travel the lanes of the inner human highway. Each piece is a drug on the wall, concentrated glee.

It’s hard to believe that aging pothead Fred Tomaselli has become an auction star while clean-cut Lane Twitchell dances through a serviceable career, because The Twitchings are far more hallucinatory when viewed over time than those of Pillboy Fred.

Four years ago at Greenberg Van Doren a decent Twitchell fetched $14,000 and the new, more integrated work at Roebling Hall ranges from $7,500 to $25,000, peanuts in today’s market. The real value of Lane’s pieces is that, if you are properly stimulated, they will start to talk to you, even ask you out on a date!

Roebling Hall has also dumped some fellow named Young in with the Twitchell show, whose signature work is a spinning tire magically suspended in an industrial-sized clothes drier, suggestive of Duchamp’s Rotorelief, which rumbles along with a deafening noise. I begged Joel not to turn it on, but he insisted. This is the sort of low stuff that often passes for amusement in the art world these days, but Lane Twitchell will survive it -- he always has.

Lane Twitchell, "Leap with Me," and Doug Young, "One Soft Infested Summer," Feb. 29-Apr. 5, 2008, at Roebling Hall, 606 West 26th Street, New York, N.Y. 10001.


CHARLIE FINCH is co-author of Most Art Sucks: Five Years of Coagula (Smart Art Press).