10 OF THE MOST REMARKABLE ARTWORKS AT THE 2018 ARMORY SHOW (EXCERPT)

Andrew Goldstein, ARTNET News, March 9, 2018

With the same calm yet unsettling aura of unstinting observation that you find in a Frederick Wiseman movie, Roxy Paine’s diorama-like sculptures present environments of control, from his bravura recreation of a TSA checkpoint made entirely from wood to his rendition of a hotel room being monitored by CIA agents as part of a covert LDA experiment. At the Armory Show, Paine presents a banal-seeming meeting room that he’s rendered in disorienting forced perspective, so that to the viewer standing directly in front of it a few feet back sees a near-photographic-quality representation, while standing a few steps to either side shows the synthetic-clay-sculpted components to be hopelessly skewed.

 

What’s so weird about a meeting room? With chairs arrayed in a circle in the middle, it could be set up for an AA meeting or a group-therapy session, but for the cryptic messages on the blackboard: “Captives and Fugitives,” “places of captivity,” “constriction,” “retention,” “inability.” Whoever the room is waiting for, they’re mulling some dark stuff, and we’ll be there watching them through the implied one-way glass.

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