My Father's Flag.
1990 was the year that the sandpaintings became the primary means of working. In June, with the exhibition My Father's Flag at American Fine Arts on Wooster Street in New York, Failure Institute came into existence and the idea that all my work should be ephemeral took hold.
Early in 1990, I was invited to participate in a group show called The Word at New Langton Arts in San Francisco:
Untitled, 1990 - 10' x 22' - sand and salt. One of the earliest sandpaintings. A listing of names (sans vowels) of the people involved in the Charles Stuart murder case (Boston, 1989).
My Father's Flag, 1990, 16' x 66', sand and tinted sand. Sand painting containing the names (sans vowels) of artists, people and events influencing my life since 1968. I wrote a little document posted on the wall at the exhibition describing the work as "concerned with failure on both a personal and global level". A raking light was achieved by cutting a hole in the gallery wall and directing sunlight into the space from a large mirror out in the middle of Wooster Street. (As realized: American Fine Arts, Co., New York)
The sandpainting, My Father's Flag, finally got me a long hoped-for review by the much revered critic Kim Levin writing for The Village Voice. And wouldn't you know it? Ol' Scratch found a way to get his slimyness in there by appearing on the cover of that mid-1990 issue.
My Father's Flag (West), 1990, 16' x 66', sand and tinted sand. A variation on the painting exhibited at American Fine Arts. During one month in 1990, both versions of the painting were being shown, one on each side of the country. (As realized: Linda Farris Gallery, Seattle)
At both exhibitions of My Father's Flag, there was also displayed a two-part Cibachrome self-portrait entitled: I Am The Closing Door. 1990, Cibachrome prints, dimensions variable. (These two images were linked with a length of thin rope.)
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