Lawrence Dreiband is rapidly approaching the status of a veteran without having solved his art's basic problem. For years he has demonstrated a nearly miraculous command of realistic technique and an utter absence of evident conviction about what to do with it.
The list of artists he has emulated reaches halfway around the world. Recent works only make it longer in both time and space. Here are about 20 drawings--some with the heroic proportions of big paintings--in charcoal, oil stick and some paint thematically linked under the awful pun, "Statuary Gape."
As usual, the rendering is drop-dead virtuoso. Dreiband moves charcoal effortlessly from meaty flesh-rendering to sooty, dense shadows and powdery atmospheres. Alas, this angelic, masterful talent has been put in the service of some of the silliest ham-handed art jokes in human memory.
"Walking and Talking Schtick for Joseph Beuys" combines an image of Rodin's "Walking Man" with Beuys' trademark dead hare. In "Shelf Life," one of Donald Judd's geometric metal sculptures is used as a pedestal for sculptural heads by Matisse.