The bleak journey to Misha Kahn’s “Return of Saturn: Coming of Age in the 21st Century” actually heightens the experience of entering the exhibition. Descend the staircase to Friedman Benda’s basement-level Project Space, pass the garbage bins and open a gray door that looks like it might have a supply closet behind it, and you’ll find yourself in a phantasmagorical world of handcrafted furniture and objects, no two the same. First to greet you is an anthropomorphized armoire, covered in a grassy material, with round plastic eyes and an open-drawer mouth. Marbleized tiles cover the floor. Concrete benches mimic helium balloons. The eclectic and colorful environment, which also includes wild chandeliers with swinging arms and a tropical tree sheathed in a custom puffer coat, is totalizing and otherworldly. The explosion of nonsensical, tactile and humorous objects in “Return of Saturn” invigorates with an exuberant materiality. —Julia Wolkoff
Pictured: View of Misha Kahn’s exhibition “Return of Saturn: Coming of Age in the 21st Century,” 2016. Courtesy Friedman Benda, New York. Photo Andrew Meredith.