"Puddle, pothole, portal"

4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

While it’s an open question as to whether or not New York’s museum-building boom is good for art, SculptureCenter’s recent bulking-up seems nice enough, though it’s hard to gauge its impact on this, its first show in newly enlarged digs: It looks pretty much like every other SculptureCenter exhibition. Nevertheless, it’s a lively roundup of mostly young talents whose works share a cartoonish quality (literally and figuratively), as well as a conceptualist take on the leaped-from-the-page bleeding of 2-D into 3-D favored by vintage Hollywood animators like Betty Boop maestro Max Fleischer.

The show’s talisman is New Yorker illustrator Saul Steinberg. His elegant blend of Pop Art verve and High Modernist refinement is given its own gallery containing drawings and an actual drafting table covered with brushes, pencils, notebooks and images, all rendered in shallow relief.

Mick Peter’s life-size figurative cut-outs—a man annoyed by a yapping dog; the headless statue of a general—and Judith Hopf’s gathering of setteelike forms, titled Flock of Sheep, seem like Steinberg’s lineal descendants, while Mark Leckey’s film of a cartoon feline’s flicking tail pays homage to Felix the Cat’s creator. Danny McDonald’s miniature model depicts a portly Superman entering a resale gallery carrying a Warhol portrait of himself, because, according to the title, he’s Forced to Sell Works from a Personal Collection in Order to Offset Living Expenses. Abigail DeVille’s rotating dry-cleaner’s rack festooned with debris clanks around from a brightly lit area to a darkened one illuminated by a flashing disco ball, putting a concrete twist on “business up front, party in the back!”

These and other contributions make the show’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit? conceit an appealing one. And they’re a reminder that SculptureCenter’s expansion applies not only to its new home but to the definition of sculpture itself.—Howard Halle




Event website: http://sculpture-center.org
Event phone: 718-361-1750
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