Looking at the reproduction of Tonico Lemos Auad’s Reflected Archeology on the checklist for the Brazilian artist’s second solo appearance at this gallery, one could be forgiven for seeing yet another after-the-fact variation on Minimalist painting. But what looks on paper like a wall-filling field of gray paint turns out, in reality, to be a mural of photographs covered with scratch-off silver ink familiar from instant-win lottery tickets. Visitors are encouraged to attack the surface—the effect is reminiscent of Rudolf Stingel’s 2007 installation at the Whitney—eventually revealing a colorful depiction of the vast Círio de Nazaré parade that takes place in Auad’s hometown of Belém. It’s a nice prize, and consistent with the artist’s predilection for gradual material transformation and affecting visual surprise.
In Relógio de Areia, Auad meditates on the passage of time still more overtly via a set of five hourglasses modeled in coarse linen. Stitched into the side of each form is an abstracted landscape, while resting in its base is an accumulation of sand cast in metal. Shelter, a small canopy rendered in woven brass mounted high on one wall, also takes its shape from a functional artifact, and has a similarly delicate feel, like a homespun take on one of Liam Gillick’s suspended platforms. And filling the gallery’s back room is Untitled/House, a brick-and-mortar block in which various ropes, chains and bottles have been inlaid to create a kind of symbolic vault that consolidates the artist’s fusion of art and architecture.—Michael Wilson
548 W 22nd St
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