Reviews

‘Four Drawings of a Farmer’ at Bureau

New York

C

Allison Branham, night egg, 2014, mixed media, 9" x 38" x 21".  COURTESY BUREAU, NEW YORK

Allison Branham, night egg, 2014, mixed media, 9" x 38" x 21".

COURTESY BUREAU, NEW YORK

urated by artist Maliea Croy, this show of work by 12 artists working in various mediums often reflected the human face and focused on alienation and anxiety.

In the front gallery, misreadings of Ed Ruscha’s name emanated from a mobile by Joseph Grigely and Amy Vogel, titled You (2001), which is composed of entangled speakers. Surrounding it, three of Lui Shtini’s cold “face paintings,” stared back at viewers from eyeless globular heads, while on the floor, a Joel Dean sculpture consisted of a white 3-D printed head poking out of a white gym bag. In this gathering, faces seemed to be trying to establish contact with their audience but remained just out of reach of mutual understanding.

In the main gallery, one of Tony Oursler’s talking heads was howling for release from her orb-like confines, lending an eerie and frantic feeling to the experience of viewing the other more sober pieces in the room. Three works in particular—a lovingly crafted pair of panty hose titled night egg (2014) by Allison Branham; the delicate charcoal drawing Lonely Girl (2013) by Natasha Ghosn; and three untitled dioramas by Jason Benson composed of cut-up newspaper—when viewed together, took on a more charged, urgent tone, though they represented a kind of solitary, artistic longing. Such loneliness made for good company.

A version of this story originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of ARTnews on page 116.

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