Art Fag City at The L Magazine: There’s No Place Like Kansas

by Paddy Johnson on February 1, 2012 The L Magazine

John Newman, “Ask The Fact for The Form (red collapse)” (2011)

This week at the L Magazine I review the excellent Cheat Chains and Telephones, at KANSAS. Founded this summer by Steven Stewart, the space is definitely one to watch.

Virtually any mid-sized sculpture would look good in the front gallery of KANSAS. Marked by large windows, warm wooden floors and a ramp leading down to the main gallery space, the sight lines and interior are designed to display artwork in a flattering light.

This isn't so different from most galleries—artworks sell better when they are glorified—but it's worth mentioning because the space re-enforces the warmth of KANSAS’s current group show. Cheat Chains and Telephones (through February 18th) demonstrates at every turn the power of both the handmade object and a good joke.

This is apparent from the outset. Fabienne Lasserre's freestanding metal half-circle painted in hot pink and white greets viewers, its loose paint application and imperfect curves showing the artist’s touch. It's a simple piece—color divides the half-circle into three sections—and that understated quality works for it. A wire in the shape of the freestanding metal lies on the floor, as if keeping the whole piece from toppling over. It's not quite an illusion—you never believe a thin bit of wire supports the whole sculpture—but the suggestion that empty space could contain so much weight is enjoyable nonetheless.

To read the full piece, click here.

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