David Carrier reviews the exhibition Loren Munk: You Are Here at Freight + Volume, New York, on view through March 15, 2014.
Carrier writes: "As brightly colored as Frank Stella’s 1980s constructions, Munk’s paintings present as much historical information as Irving Sandler’s written histories or Ad Reinhard’s cartoons. The richly contentious life of our art world is laid out here in lavish loving detail... A chart revealing the studio addresses of the members of the artists’ club should present that information legibly. The choice of color, typeface and composition, however, is arbitrary. But because Munk’s Members of the Artists’ Club is a work of art all of its properties are aesthetically significant. Change the colors, typeface or composition however slightly and it would be a different work of art – though of course it would still present the same information... Just as Marcel Proust adapted the genealogical obsessions of the Duc de Saint-Simon (1675 –1755), creating his marvelous fictional In Search of Lost Time from information not unlike that presented in the latter’s somewhat exhausting memoirs, so Munk has demonstrated that the artful charting of the recent history of our art world can, in his paintings, itself become a considerable work of art."