Failure as an aesthetic provocation is the uniting principle behind this 17-artist group show. But aside from a wobbly stacked sculpture by Gelitin (Latte Macchiato, 2012), which fell to the floor during the exhibition opening, the pieces imply the notion through contained means. The visceral qualities of failure are played out in paintings like Emily Mae Smith’s The Studio (Science Fiction), 2015, in which a cracked egg hovers in space, and in the underknown Pop expressionist Gene Beery’s Unpopular Cuts of Meat (1969). Process meets pathos in Josef Bauer’s 1972 “body sculpture” photographs, of a shrouded person posing on a pedestal as a failed monument. No show on failure would be complete without Gen X art, and Sean Landers’s letter about his student debt, To Whom it May Concern (1991), perfectly fits the bill.
Pictured: Installation view of “I Dropped the Lemon Tart”; at Lisa Cooley, New York.