Summer is the “off season” for the contemporary art world in New York. Galleries close on weekends and mount group exhibitions that showcase several represented artists at once, host artists from other galleries, or experiment with new talent, generally centered around a theme.
Hiding in the Lower East Side this summer are four magical artworks in two different group shows that are even more surprising with closer inspection.
“Untitled 2014” stands at the center of at
Two front-facing chairs dissolve into one another in an abstract matrix of geometry. Mashing futuristic forms with the natural patina of time, the sculpture plays between past and future, design and art. Notice that both chairs are missing a leg, each relying on the other for upright support.
A few blocks away, “Unsettled” rests at the entrance of , part of the group show “”. Most visitors rush past, not noticing that NOTHING IS TOUCHING THE FLOOR. Each scrap of wood, found on the streets of Jerusalem, is suspended by dozens of wires, floating both above the floor and off the wall.
“Ein Jahar” also demands close inspection. The large 6½ x 10 foot frame holds tiny brass clock hands that together represent EVERY hour in a year (the title “Ein Jahr” is German for “One Year”), in a single chronological line, snaking back and forth from top left to the bottom right.
Finally, back at , a small lens, not much larger than 3 inches across, is quietly embedded into a back corner wall at eye level. A work by , the lens reveals an impossible bathroom in a room that can’t exist. In reality, the perfectly sculpted bathroom model is about 9 inches deep (including the far-reaching landscape through the window) and 14 inches wide. Particularly impressive is the door within the room, that IS NOT A MIRROR: Patrick sculpted a SECOND toilet, distorted like a reflection, that is placed beyond a clear film.
When a “group show” is done right, it offers a mini-rollercoaster of diverse ideas, scales, and materials that are held together by a theme, but also hide tiny and delightful surprises along the way.
What: – a group show of 15 artists, including & Where: , 155 Suffolk St, New York NY
When: June 24 – August 12, 2017
What: – a group show of 9 artists that includes & Where: , 130 Orchard St, New York, NY
When: June 21 – August 18, 2017
All images photographed by the author, .