Reviews


Paul S. Briggs

CONCORD, MASSACHUSETTS Lucy Lacoste Gallery At a time when irony is a mainstream aesthetic force and the art object is frequently made coherent via the glitter of popular culture, work such as Briggs’s is rare and strangely daring. Abstraction becomes a visual manifestation of poetry, bearing literary notions of metaphor and symbolism.

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Pia Camil

LOS ANGELES Blum & Poe Pia Camil’s work has consistently engaged ideas of power, consumerism, and collectivity, using the mass-market waste of Mexico City’s urban landscape to create theoretically complex objects and participatory installations. Her new body of work, produced after she relocated from the city to the rural countryside during the pandemic, takes these themes in a different direction.

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Sarah Sze

MOUNTAINVILLE, NEW YORK Storm King Art Center Sarah Sze’s Fallen Sky—Storm King’s first permanent commissioned outdoor sculpture since Maya Lin installed Storm King Wavefield in 2008—resembles a silhouetted planet earth, as if photographed from space. Composed of 130 polished steel fragments nestled into native grasses, it occupies the site where a large tree once stood.

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Nancy Tobin

Online at Field Projects in New York and at Outer Roominations in Eureka, California Nancy Tobin’s sculptural installations were recently on view in “Afterlight Online,” on the Field Projects website, and at Outer Roominations, a festival of outdoor sculpture and installation in rural northern California.

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George Rickey

NEW YORK Park Avenue and Kasmin Sculpture Garden By the beginning of the 1950s, Rickey started to prioritize sculpture. He marketed a Calder-like, do-it-yourself mobile kit (Mobikit, 1952). His eureka moment came when he realized that he could build kinetic sculptures unlike Calder’s works, and mobile in more controlled ways, by applying engineering skills learned from his father and grandfather and practiced during his military stint.

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Lygia Pape

LOS ANGELES Hauser & Wirth Underscoring sensory experience, its sensuality and embodiment, the show was presented in near-total darkness, with individual works picked out by spotlights that magnified their dramatic beauty and other-worldliness. Like Neolithic caves and Romanesque churches, such dimly lit environments can become metaphorical arenas of awe and spirituality; but they can also reduce the liminal to the merely theatrical.

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Liz Magor

VANCOUVER Catriona Jeffries Liz Magor’s dramatic installations encapsulate the chaos of our times, piecing together puzzles in which everyday objects enact confounding and disturbing narratives. Born in Winnipeg, Magor has resided in Vancouver most of her life. She speaks fondly of her Vancouver childhood, recalling its seaside harbor as a “wild, cranky, beautiful type of place,” which might also describe the bewitching mix of the beauteous and the abject in her work.

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Wallace Chan

VENICE Fondaco Marcello There is a commentary on the interconnectedness of community, but also on our internalized fragmentations, our duplicitous natures. We might know of Janus, the two-faced god, but these deities have multiple faces, features that slip and merge unrelentingly into one another.

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Jennifer Wen Ma

NEW BRITAIN, CONNECTICUT New Britain Museum of American Art Viewers first absorb Jennifer Wen Ma’s An Inward Sea (on view through October 24, 2021) as a lyrical, room-filling composition of waves set under a full moon. But that initial response quickly shifts, as synchronized sound and mechanized elements intensify with charged momentum.

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