In 2011, Michael Jones McKean began a series of segmented low-relief sculptures whose titles suggest an unnerving, impossible, but seductive universality. Each work is designated by a categorical term preceded by “the”—The Republic, The Religion, The Folklore, The Comedy, The Garden—singly and collectively referencing the human effort to interpret, theorize, associate, narrate, classify, and collate. An artist whose attention to nuanced verbal structures corresponds to the ontological connotations of his sculptures, McKean makes the definite article function as a vortex. “The” draws each generic category into a teeming center, a singularity that releases particular and descriptive potentialities. All that is present, past, or possible is there—a specific, inclusive, yet ultimately inexplicable infinite, a “set of all things.” Within the physical metaphysics of McKean’s sculptures, matter is data …see the entire article in the print version of May’s Sculpture magazine.