Sunday, March 1, 2015

New Museum's 2015 Triennial; Wave and Particle at Feldman

Komar & Melamid, Super Objects: Super Comfort
for Super People
, 1977
Eva Kotatkova, Not How People Move But What Moves Them, 2013
Photo: Susan Yung

The New Museum's triennial, entitled Surround Audience, culls art by more than 50 creators from 25 countries. It's far too dense to absorb in one visit, but even if that's all you do, you'll come away with a snapshot of what's happening around the world, and some strong impressions of work that concerns the global environment as well as political, social, and economic issues. Here are a few that stuck with me. 

Antoine Catala's Distant Feel is a mesmerizing sculptural installation comprising sea creatures living on the characters "E3." The plumbing and filtration are integrated into the piece, lit by deep blue neon.

Antoine Catala, Distant Feel, 2015. 
Photo: Susan Yung
Eva Kotalkova's nostalgic room-sized installation of objects and artifacts that slide between function, torture, and whimsy. Performers demonstrate some of the pieces at work. (I was unavoidably reminded of Komar & Melamid's series of Super Objects from the 1970s.)

Shreyas Karle's installation of relic-like objects, in a separate room, felt related to Kotalkova's work. This repository of small objects made of copper, plaster, and other assorted materials keyed off of both sexual and religious fetishes.

Juliana Huxtable's inkjet print series, Universal Crop Tops for All the Self Canonized Saints of Becoming, feel like surreally accurate depictions of sci-fi fiction, with their hyperreal, idealized women amid unfamiliar environments.

Eduardo Navarro, Timeless Alex. Photo: Benoit Palley
Frank Benson's Juliana is a partner piece, by intent or proximity, that occupies front and center on the second floor. It's a lustrous, life-sized sculpture that parallels Huxtable's women; its media is listed as "painted Accura ® Xtreme Plastic rapid prototype," for what it's worth.

Onejoon Che's installation depicts a series of heroic monuments in Africa, built by a North Korean company. They could be in a number of locations where propaganda has thrived, recording some kind of universal language for terrible public art.

Eduardo Navarro's Timeless Alex combines a sense of poetry in its title as well as the concept—a costume that replicates an extinct Galapagos tortoise, which performers will don and move about in. 

Brian Knep, Healing #1. Photo: Feldman Gallery
Wave and Particle, a group show at Ronald Feldman Gallery through March 21, showcases work by artists funded by Creative Capital. It's a terrific survey of artists who may not be brand new names, as many in the Triennial are (to me, in any case), but their inclusion in such a show means they have earned a number of accolades. 

A number incorporate video or photography, such as Brian Knep's Healing #1, an interactive floor piece that you can rearrange by walking across.

A few other highlights: Shih-Chieh Huang's Nocturne-II, a joyous mixed media mechanized sculpture whose plastic sleeve arms inflate like a comical octopus; Jason Salavon's eerie Rembrandt and Velasquez sin rostro portraits; and Ken Gonzales-Day's haunting wallpaper photograph of a tree, After the Crowd. With art fair madness about to begin, this show is well worth a visit.

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