Reviews


“Surrounds: 11 Installations”

NEW YORK MoMA “Surrounds: 11 Installations,” part of MoMA’s reopening schedule last year, featured a selection of works from the collection that renegotiate and reimagine architectonic boundaries of display. Visitors ascending to the sixth floor were greeted by Sheila Hicks’s Pillar of Inquiry/Supple Column (2013–14), an acrylic fiber work occupying the full height of the space.

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Rachel Harrison

NEW YORK Whitney Museum of American Art Rachel Harrison’s sculptures possess a wild and perplexing eclecticism that makes it difficult to ascertain the exact meaning and emotional tenor of her imagery. In her assemblages—which could be called monuments since they memorialize both a series of actions and a juxtaposition of things on a large scale—ideas and processes coming out of sculpture, painting, architecture, popular culture, and the banality of everyday life are placed side by side or on top of each other, without, or at least rarely, becoming one.

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Arlene Shechet

NEW YORK Pace Gallery The 14 large sculptures in the suggestively titled “Skirts,” Arlene Shechet’s recent exhibition, appear to have both hidden and overt agendas. The title word, as noun and verb, conveys ideas of outskirts and borders, as well as dodgy movement; it also describes an item of female clothing and can double as (disrespectful) slang for women themselves.

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Beverly Pepper

NEW YORK Marlborough Gallery Over the course of a prolific seven-decade-long career, Beverly Pepper, who died in February 2020, proved herself a virtuoso of three-dimensionality, regardless of material. Marlborough’s recent “concise investigation” covering 50 years’ worth of Pepper’s work (from 1968 to 2018) offered everything from Cor-ten steel to green onyx, from oxidized copper to polished chrome.

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Ai Weiwei

ST. LOUIS Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University “Bare Life,” which inaugurated the Kemper Museum’s newly expanded and renovated galleries, operated on several levels at once. First and foremost, this dense and multifaceted exhibition was a retrospective of Ai Weiwei’s work from the past 15 years; dozens of works in an array of media addressed themes ranging from human rights to political dissent to globalism.

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