Heimo Zobernig

Critics' pick
Photograph: Courtesy Petzel Gallery; New York
Heimo Zobernig, installation view
The grid and the monochrome have been foundational tropes of abstract painting since the days of Malevich and Mondrian, and both have been ongoing concerns of Austrian artist Heimo Zobernig. Of course, since the contemporary definition of painting has become elastic enough to go beyond paint itself, Zobernig uses all sorts of avenues—installation, video, even plain old cardboard boxes—to explore his subjects. In his latest effort, a group of plaster-colored mannequins (some androgynous, some apparently transgender) are spaced throughout a gallery hung with stately canvases, featuring gestural passages breaking though overlays of intersected lines. Is the artist hedging his bets by importing his own spectators? Or is he suggesting that the viewer, however disengaged, is always part of the composition? It's perhaps a little of both.
Event phone: 212-680-9467
Event website: http://petzel.com
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