– Spring/Summer 2005

Paranoia Americana: The New Work of Cady Noland

Steven Parrino

We were shocked to learn of Steven Parrino's accidental death at the beginning of this year - he lost control of his motorcycle when it hit a pothole on a Brooklyn street early on New Year's day. We have long followed his work as a painter and musician testing the edges of expressive possibility in a culture dominated by a method of reproduction so seamlessly technological as to almost drown personal idiosyncrasy. Some time ago we decided to explore the idea of covering Cady Noland, an artist who works in a similar vein, and we asked Steven if he would be interested in writing on her work. For a variety of reasons the Noland project did not work out, but we did receive the following text, which we publish now as a memorial.

Paranoia Americana: The New Work of Cady Noland
Steven Parrino (2001)

Toward the end of the 1980s Peter Nagy asked me to look at the slides of an artist he was going to include in a group show at gallery Nature Morte. The slides were of work by Cady Noland, and consisted of found objects such as mirrors, handcuffs, railings and US flags. 'I want to see more,' was what I said to Peter. I met Cady at the opening, later made some studio visits, and found common ground by way of an operating theme of nihilism.

In 1988 I showed a work-in-progress called Stockade at Metro Pictures. This was a painting with five holes built into the stretcher. A couple of years later Cady called me to ask if it