Saturday, February 9, 2013

Blogging ARTlies -- May-June 1994

Robert Boyd

ARTlies volume 2, May-June 1994

It was FotoFest time and a lot of the material in this issue reflected that. This was the year that FotoFest almost went under when Kodak withdrew its support. The main Fotofest event was delayed until fall, while the satellite shows (already scheduled) were on in the spring. Kelly Loftus saw the bright side of this--that after going to FotoFest, people were too overwhelmed to check out the satellite events.

The issue has a new editor, and a new stated policy of rotating editorship. Eric Schwab takes over as editor this issue, and the feel is quite different. There are a bunch of reviews, all of varying lengths (some as short as one paragraph). There are a lot of new contributors, including Bill Davenport writing a nice piece about a John Cage show at the Menil, Rolywholyover: A Circus for Museum. And there was a letters column, which included one from a guy named Michael C. Troy who wrote, "I couldn't read the Gael Stack article at all. Your fonts must have been invented by the Devil." Indeed, Fiona McGettigan's design is still overwhelming. It invites the reader to not read the magazine. Kind of an ironic approach, no? Seven (!) font designers are credited.  I want to send them my bill for migraine treatment.

The most interesting thing from the perspective of 2013 is that I am only familiar with two of the contributors, Harvey Bott and Bill Davenport. Of course, they are both very vital participants of the Houston art scene to this day. But others, like Donald Calledare (who is a writer and the subject of a review), I had never heard of. Calledare is apparently now in North Carolina, but was for a time part of the Houston art scene and is now, in a sense, part of Houston's art history.


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