New York – Nina Beier at Metro Pictures Through May 22nd, 2015

May 20th, 2015

Nina Beier, Female Nude (2015), all images via Art Observed

Metro Pictures’s airy gallery is currently open to artist Nina Beier’s plotted sculptures that map the conceptual revisions of objects and their representation. Interposing sculptural still lives with flattened three-dimensional picture hangings, the artist presents crisply-laundered down comforters and jackets, flattened as a backdrop for wigs and fashionable ties, while nearby, burrowed coconut forms perched on lush soil.  In another room, gigantic stemware houses familiar objects, introduced by the gallery as an effort in problematizing representation and depiction.

Nina Beier, Plunge (2015)

With Plunge, a resin-based series, each piece of glassware is specific to its beverages. In one instance, a tulip glass serves a demitasse cup overflowing with an abundance of coffee beans, while nearby, a red King crab floats in a wide bowl Bourdeaux. Glass is ideal to Beier’s project, refracting the appearance and the composition of an object. Placing sculpture as a viewer-specific orientation, the optical position determines the object’s form; when we circle these glasses, we recall their use.  Accordingly, Beier’s intermediary objects accompany daily modern activities – tools for sanitation, grooming and consumption.

Nina Beier (Installation View), via Art Observed
Nina Beier (Installation View)

Nina Beier, Plunge (2015)
Nina Beier, Plunge (2015)

Submerged into a hypothetical, life-giving water, open-mouthed snakes and crabs cultivate new habitats, or fend off the invasion of human artifacts.  It is unclear whether Beier promotes an acceptance or rejection of materials. Poetically, one glass holds a crustacean, spitting coins, which saliently arrests movements of our entanglement with decadence and obsolescence.  What appear to be necessary experiential tools, recognizable among a luxury-driven, modernist standpoint, are reframed without essential, distinctive purpose.

Nina Beier, Peanuts & Pearls & Matruschkas (2015)
Nina Beier, Peanuts & Pearls & Matruschkas (2015)

Following the trail of ties in the three-dimensional portraitures, the pictures communicate a neat whimsy. Patterns such as Matryoshka dolls and palm trees signal a fantastical space, embedded into an attentive, yet easygoing fashion.  The appearance of halted vortices insinuate animate fabrics, as if the works themselves had caught a body in motion, distilling the clothed form from the body itself.  In a final room, glasses and portraitures are linked together along their material lines of contact: a place of pleasurable excess reconfigured across indifferent terrains. These objects are altered through oppositional stances with another object, locking the forms against their counterpart.  Beier succeeds in slimming representational practices as open-ended, subtly placing elegant objects among unlikely forms.

Beier’s exhibition closes on May 22nd.

Nina Beier, Desert Islands (2015)

Nina Beier (Installation View), via Art Observed
Nina Beier (Installation View), via Art Observed

Nina Beier (Installation View), via Art Observed
Nina Beier (Installation View), via Art Observed

— B.Cole

Read more:
Nina Beier [Metro Pictures]
“Art: Nina Beier” [Interview Magazine]