Opening today is the new hotness, Marguerite de Ponty, the solo show “introspective” of Urs Fischer at the New Museum. The artist has his way with the three floors (and ceilings) of exhibition space.
The showman, mouthpiece, and organizer is Director of Special Exhibitions and cocurator of “Younger than Jesus,” Massimiliano Gioni, 35, older than Jesus. The show originated when Gioni and Fischer erected Jet Set Lady, Fischer’s seminal 2005 solo show at the Trussardi Foundation, where Gioni is artistic director, and where Laura Hoptman, Senior Curator at the New Museum, is a Trussardi advisory board member.
This is a good time for Gavin Brown. Fischer is the second artist from Gavin Brown’s Enterprise to have a solo show at the New Museum. Brownian Jonathan Horowitz just concluded And/Or at P.S.1 and his soul- and gallery-mate, Rob Pruitt, is hosting the First Annual Art Awards this week at the Guggenheim.
P.S. Wish “good luck” to SVA alumni “and/or” faculty who are nominees: Elizabeth Peyton, Mary Heilmann, and Jerry Saltz.
The main attraction ($$$) of Marguerite de Ponty (a pseudonym used by Mallarmé when writing on fashion) is “a technical tour de force that required more than 25,000 photographs and over twelve tons of steel,” according the the New Mu. Sounds pretty MACHO for an institution founded by feminist Marcia Tucker.
It includes about 50 splendid stainless steel boxes, silkscreened on all visible sides with photos of an assortment of objects, depicted from all three Cartesian axes, x through z. Despite the roid-rage marketing, the installation invokes non-Hulk Hogans: Guyton/Walker + John McCracken + Warhol + maybe Cady Noland in a good mood. -And Robert Morris cubes, Judd boxing, Picasso cubism, Duchamp readymade, Dutch still life. With flat images adhered to flat, reflective boxes that all share axes, it’s a vista without perspective – no transverse lines, like drawing with an Etch-a-Sketch.
Only 40 visitors are allowed in at once, but it’s worth the wait in line, because population control is to labyrinths what rent control is to apartments: you feel good about staying for a long time.
The boxes, engineered in Zurich, are immaculately seamless. There seems to be no room for error, and one wonders how the printmakers, in Austria, juggled the tumbling vertical and horizontal orientations. Does this site help us? The effect is especially exciting in the photos of photos, such as the giant Ashanti, who looks real from the front, but surprises us as a cardboard cutout. Look closer, and the cardboard’s crumbled corners and scored surfaces revolt against the surgical, sterile surfaces.
Preparators were not allowed to touch the sculptures, so they unsheathed them from crates and slid the plinths from underneath. But how did they mount the vertical “chain” piece to the ceiling? If you see Hendrik Gerrits, who oversaw the installation, you should ask him. He looked really relieved last night.
In contrast to the rigid order below them, the monumental molten crags on the third floor are all accident. Yet they reveal seams where the component aluminum sections conjoined. Wouldn’t that bother a precisionist perfectionist like Urs Fischer? Don’t we lose our illusion when we see the stitching? Maybe it’s a trick to remind our eyes that the towering turds are ugly on the inside, too – even if we want to stay with the fascinating thumb impressions on the surface.
That’s right, foxy; I’m talking to YOU!
IMAGES: Michael Bilsborough