A Prehistory of Cindy Bernard’s Security Envelopes, 2010
Poundstone, William, A Prehistory of Cindy Bernard’s Security Envelopes, Los Angeles County Museum on Fire, William Poundstone on Art and Chaos, ARTINFO , November 15, 2010
You might think it’s a comment on the mortgage meltdown, but you’d be wrong. Bernard did the Security Envelopes in the late 1980s and early 1990s, in the wake of another financial catastrophe, the stock market’s 1987 “Black Monday.” They were shown at the 1989 Whitney Biennial. Each of Bernard’s photos is a classic small B&W print, framed and presented on a museum wall as an abstraction. Some remind you of Aaron Siskind, others of William Morris. There are “outsider” scribblings and faux modern lithographs offered by mail order during the Depression. The fifty photos shown at MOCA are a museum of modernism’s isms. As Ian Hamilton Finlay wrote, “Every style in art is a camouflage through which, by our own reconstruction, we think we see ‘real’ nature.”
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