Jessica Stockholder, Untitled, 2009, plastic tray, gray plastic, hardware, African wood, foam, cloth, styrofoam, ribbons, tape, 35x21x9 inches. Image via: Mitchell-Innes & Nash
Gallery audiences never know what kind of art experience New York will serve up. This week's foray into north Chelsea, for example, produced only two exhibitions worth discussing of the fifteen I visited: Jessica Stockholder at Mitchell-Innes & Nash and Nam June Paik at James Cohan Gallery. Both shows make it clear why so many artists take their cues from these vastly influential sculptors.
A predecessor to the fragmented form of contemporaries such as Rachel Harrison, Michael Mahalchick and Tony Feher, fifty-year-old Jessica Stockholder brings together manipulated and raw materials in her latest exhibition SailCloth Tears. Eight sculptures, all but one using the wall for support, sparsely populate the gallery. Those more familiar with her well-known large-scale installations of the 80s and 90s may see her new work's more compact form as a departure, though in truth she's been making these smaller pieces for a few years. The essential sensibility — a rainbow palette, disparate objects, and heavy investment in textural surface — remains the same.
Specific to SailCloth Tears, many of the works exhibit a subtle humor. Choosing to paint a shape vaguely resembling a face on the most absurd surface imaginable — a free standing yellow fluffy roll on a stick — doesn't make any sense. This is why it works — the surprise pleases. Another piece hangs a small wall-mounted antique frame with brilliant yellow paint on the corner, suggesting that the conditions of display inform what's inside the picture plane. It also boxes an untouched piece of black plastic with a fake alligator pattern — the pre-made texture glorified as art.
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Editors note: Due to a technical glitch, this post was removed and reposted.