Tauba Auerbach, "Float"
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In her solo debut at this gallery, Tauba Auerbach continues her exploration of interior and surface, and of the ways in which we understand the sometimes-hidden systems and structures that underpin perceptible reality. Auerbach’s “Fold” paintings, which already rank as her signature works, depict creased and crumpled surfaces so persuasively that the urge to verify their actual flatness by peering at them from one side is practically irresistible. Produced by spray-painting and stretching previously folded sheets of canvas, these deceptively simple works occupy a curious middle ground among image, object and process. The five examples in “Float” are more colorful than some earlier entries in the series—to the point of gaudiness in one or two cases—but the experiment remains compelling.
Complementing the “Fold” variations are several panels made by weaving strips of raw canvas over standard stretchers to produce continuous surfaces distinguished by patterns of varying complexity. Again, there’s a frisson between the works as fixed, finished objects and their appearance as mere stops along a route that may or may not (or may never) be complete; it’s easy to imagine them being stored on reels and remade for subsequent outings (perhaps with a slightly tweaked design). Also on display are works that seem to reside more comfortably under the heading of sculpture, though in the case of Bent Onyx, some ambiguity persists. Here, Auerbach has printed a book that illustrates, slice by slice, the mineral’s rich internal banding, mapping what is usually hidden from sight.—Michael Wilson