Martin Boyce, When Now is Night, 2002. Flourescent light, plywood, powder-coated and lacquered MDF, and altered Series 7 Jacobsen chair parts, dimensions variable.

Martin Boyce

Providence, Rhode Island

RISD Museum

Four small photographs (Interiors, 1992) served as a motif for Martin Boyce’s recent survey exhibition. Seen in isolation, these grainy colored stills excerpted from the 1985 crime thriller Jagged Edge, are unremarkable; but as a mood-inducing setting for eerie suspense, they become full of foreboding. “When Now Is Night” was a paean to paranoia, a meditation on the menace of ordinary things. Boyce is an aficionado of film noir and of 1970s horror films, as well as the genres they have spawned. His work rests on an underlying theme of unease about the disparity between clean-lined 20th-century design and the uncertain reality of contemporary cities and contemporary life. A gallery with three walls papered in white-on-black grids—one grid of repetitive parallelograms, a fainter one behind it of chaotic geometric shapes—replicated the oppressive sameness of the urban environment. Despite the largeness of the almost-empty space, the walls closed in. …see the entire review in the print version of April’s Sculpture magazine.