Thu Nov 8 2007
Photo: Courtesy of Rivington Arms
Time Out Ratings :<strong>Rating: </strong>3/5
“Agro Bongo” is a great title, but not for this exhibition. The implied aggressive energy is in short supply; instead, six sculptures by six young artists cautiously stake a claim for distinct territory in the realm of contemporary sculpture by merging formal arrangements with oddball humor. But a lack of resolution in some pieces and the blatant meanings offered by others, and the fact that most of the participants have either just finished or are still in college, suggest that the talent here is still nascent.
Petrova Giberson’s wall-mounted coat rack holding five pairs of trousers in a cringe-inducing ’80s palette of green, orange, beige and red is the show’s best piece, the idea of shedding pants instead of coats producing a frisson lacking in Michael DeLucia’s nearby arrangement of shaggy mops threaded through a section of chain-link fencing. Trenton Duerksen’s Bouquet turns rolled-up red socks into a box full of roses sprouting a pig’s snout, an amusing one-liner only made confusing by a wax box at the sculpture’s base.
Daniele Frazier’s heavy-handed sculpture of male and female heads hung to resemble boxing gloves and Eva LeWitt’s cute but insubstantial cats crafted from sponges and electrical tape are forgivable given that each artist is just turning pro. But rising star and Yale M.F.A. candidate Michael Smith also disappoints with a floor installation of hats, shells, an aquarium, sticks and coins that offers little meaning. Not officially part of the show, an intriguing wooden stick holding a sunglass lens by Smith rests on the front desk, evoking a magic wand that might age these artists by a few years to reveal more developed ideas practices.