Open until Friday, August 20 at Andrea Rosen Gallery is a group exhibition featuring artists Carol Bove, Sterling Ruby, and Dana Schutz. Each of the works on view in this summer show explore themes of confinement, disaster, and violence, uniting the disparate styles and material approaches of the three participating artists.
Carol Bove’s two Harlequin sculptures are a compelling departure from her well-known drawings and assemblages. Constructed from Plexiglass and expanded sheet metal, these 8-foot tall boxes function as either mesh cages or transparent portals, depending on the viewer’s perspective. Their title derives from the pattern created by the sheet-metal netting, in reference to the Commedia dell’Arte character whose costume popularized the print, and possibly to the versatile products of Picasso’s pre-occupation with that subject. In either case, Bove’s sculptures eloquently address the dichotomy between possibility and containment.
Sterling Ruby contributed a mixed-media collage on paper entitled Pyramid Club, and a free-standing wooden anvil spray-painted with the title The Consolidator, both of which suggest a kind of impending doom. In the former, images of celestial bodies are pieced together to create a decidedly fiery pyramid, seen through a facade of spray-painted smoke. Both works reflect the artist’s engagement with architectural forms, the mechanisms of social hierarchy, and interdisciplinary material practice.
Dana Schutz is represented by three recent paintings, all of which examine grotesque scenarios through a colorful, humorous lens. In Talk Talk, a man chats on the phone while compulsively cutting away at his eyelashes. Escape Artist shows a man pinned to a target (which also appears to be his bed) by three knives, holding a fourth knife in his mouth. Her last canvas depicts the unfortunate meeting between an index finger and a table fan, in which the self-inflicted dismemberment is articulated through a particularly cubist vocabulary.