Rona Pondick, Ginko, 2007–12. Stainless steel, 57.75 x 33.75 x 41 in.

Rona Pondick

New York

Sonnabend Gallery

When Rona Pondick’s sculptural installations first appeared in the mid-1980s, their raw expression of abjection, feminist rage, infantile greed, and intimations of mortality was startling. Roughly made, her unsettling works were ambivalent, psychological, and completely uncanny: elongated lead beds, beds protruding baby bottles like teats, weird agglomerations of children’s shoes and pillows, mounds of pink skull-like balls with casts of the artist’s biting teeth that might have emerged from a catacomb. Then, just before the turn of this century, her work morphed into equally uncanny metal hybrid beings—as sleekly polished and precisely modulated as her former work was grungy. Melding casts of her own face and hands with the forms of trees or small animals, she began to make polymorphous half-human mutants. In 1997, she planted her first aluminum tree outdoors and surrounded it with a scattering of fallen apple-teeth. With Dog (1998–2001), she sculpted herself as a sphinx-like creature, part human, part dog… see the entire review in the print version of December’s Sculpture magazine.