Amy Sillman: one lump or two

Review by Andrew Berardini

Me_Ugly_Mountain_2003.1
“Hands are almost living beings. Eyeless and voiceless faces that nonetheless see and speak. The hand means action: it grasps, it creates, at times it would seem even to think. Above all the hand touches the world itself, feels it, lays hold of it and transforms it.”
 
—Henri Focillon In Praise of Hands (1934)
quoted all over, but most relevantly in Amy Sillman’s zine The O-G, vol 5.
 
Say it, no ideas but in things–
nothing but the blank faces of the houses
and cylindrical trees
bent, forked by preconception and accident–
split, furrowed, creased, mottled, stained–
secret–into the body of the light!
 
—William Carlos Williams
from Paterson: Book I
 
Sillman_2_body
 
No ideas but in colors.
No ideas but in bodies.
No ideas but in couples.
No ideas but in portraits.
No ideas but in diagrams.
No ideas but in humor.
No ideas but in hands.
No ideas but in brains.
No ideas but in drawings, paintings, and zines.
No ideas but in ugly colors beautifully brushed.
No ideas but in whorls of paint, balanced and imbalanced in tertiary hues.
No ideas but in pencil and ink, spidering across paper.
No ideas but in sex.
No ideas but in the erotics of art.
No ideas but in figuration.
No ideas but in abstraction.
No ideas but in the union of opposites.
No ideas but in beautiful colors, vomited.
No ideas but in wonky hands and bulbous noses.
No ideas but elephants in rooms and birds in hand.
No ideas but in Psychology Today.
No ideas but in Helen Molesworth asking “Will you embrace me because you are so embraceable?”
No ideas but in purple pipesmokers.
No ideas but in H&M, P&K, M&B, S&W, R&J, P&B, P&H, and S and I and C.
No ideas but in untitled cartoons.
No ideas but in “There are too few parties, and no wild ones.”
No ideas but in fingered catalogues, pictures of paintings cropped a little too tight, but altogether elegant, and nice to handle, nicer to own.
No ideas but in Amy Sillman.
Say it, again, no ideas but in things.
 
_________________________
Helen Molesworth, Ed., Amy Sillman: one lump or two, (Delmonico/Prestel/ICA Boston, 2013)
 
Images: Cover of Amy Sillman: one lump or two; , 2003; and Untitled, 2013. 

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