Art in Review

Friday, July 12, 2002


Smack Mellon Studios
65 Water Street, Brooklyn
Through July 21

According to its curators, Omar Lopez-Chahoud and Mauricio Lafitte-Soler, this group show is about "cultural self-imaging" and visions of American society; which is probably true. though these aren't exactly tight-fit themes. The real attraction, though, is a concentration of modest- to large-scale sculpture, a rare bird that happened to thrive in Smack Melton's roomy space.

The biggest pieces are abstract, as in the case of Peter Dudek's installation of biomorphic forms made from corrugated cardboard and garnished with cat's-eye marbles, and Tim Hutchings's monumental structures of painted wood and carpeting. References to domestic interiors recur, in Micki Watanabe's miniature rooms, Jason Middlebrook's redwood table carved from Styrofoam. and Peter Gould's grafting of Danish modern furniture and a white picket fence. And America is indeed invoked in Anton Vidokle's homage to sportswear labels.

The show's single largest piece, measured by floor space occupied, is multi-part sculpture by Anna Sew Hoy, which is also a group of individual sculptures. An extended exercise in imaginative recycling, it has title run of the second-story balcony. Drawings by Mark Williams, Lucas Monaco and Douglas Gillock are among the worthy nonsculptural inclusions. Mr. Gillock's installation, based on his work in comics, is of particular interest. (His most recent zine is on sale in the gallery.) Finally, Hilda Daniels's video "Blue Moon" is yet another welcome example of the wildly hermetic, off-center work being done in this medium at present.

--Holland Cotter


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