This week at the L Magazine I review Aaron Williams’ show at Max Protetch. The teaser below.
Aaron Williams, All The World Is Renewed By Fire
Max Protetch, 511 West 22nd Street, New York, NY
Through December 23
A couple of years ago it was fairly common to be critical of a variety of spiritual and holistic practices we now tolerate. I pay the extra money for organic food, I'm getting used to seeing figures with energy bubbles around them as marketing devices, and I no longer silently bracket lesser-known alternative medicines with the words “hokey shit.” I also begrudgingly have a little more patience for the representation of New Age-y ideas in art.
Aaron Williams' All the World is Renewed by Fire at Max Protetch provides the newest example of such work, an array of mid- to small-sized paintings and two freestanding sculptures. As with most subjects suggesting destruction, renewal and growth, I approached this work with a fair degree of skepticism. Is this painting, depicting a non-defined black enamel figure in a fiery sky, cliché? What about its Creation of Adam-esque finger touching the spray-painted outline of another teenage body and extended hand? And the Pink Floyd-esque triangle sculpture with a flat, free-standing head emerging from it? Frankly, most of it retains some cheesiness, but the show works because pieces seem to require it. After all, there's no older idea circulating Chelsea than the death and rebirth of society.
To read the full piece click here.