Harris Lieberman, through Oct 14
Thu Sep 28 2006
Photograph couresy Harris Leberman
Time Out Ratings<strong>Rating: </strong>0/5
In “1%,” his impressive solo debut, Aaron Young has smashed and burned Harris Lieberman Gallery into one of the most red-blooded shows in town. A collaborator by nature, Young has previously solicited day laborers, tattoo artists, helicopter pilots and a football team to help make his art. This time he invited skaters, motorbike riders and bronze casters.
For The Driftness, Young invited a biker named Winkie to ride through the space, leaving a snaking, gestural trace of burned rubber across the gallery’s floor. Leaning against the walls are three ghostly silhouettes from the series “The Young and the Driftless.” They were made automatically during Winkie’s wild ride, when shards of rubber shed by the tires attached themselves to sheets of safety glass treated with glue. Figures also spontaneously appear in four abstract silk screens in a Pop-bright palette named after bubble-gum flavors (a playful swipe at artist Adam McEwen’s chewing gum paintings?). Stare at the image, close your eyes and you’ll see a bearded man—Che Guevara, Charlie Manson or Jesus, depending on your inclination.
In No Standing Zone, painted-bronze casts of sidewalk curbs could pass for everyday concrete if it weren’t for the corners worn away by skaters (another pre-show action) to reveal the metal underneath. The curbs were installed by smashing them through the gallery’s interior walls at floor level. The gesture is hardly radical—Gordon Matta-Clark sliced up an entire house 30 years ago. Still, it is heartening to see a young artist, if not crashing the system, at least challenging some of its rules. — Adam E. Mendelsohn