Loss Aversion

Micaela Carolan, We don’t believe in myths, we’re the voices of the moment’ 2021, Memory Blanket and plaster

Kai Matsumiya: Missing Target

153 1/2 Stanton Street, NYC

Kai Matsumiya’s group show Missing Target at his gallery on Stanton Street in New York is up until this Sunday. He's showing artists working in a wide range of mediums. They include: Atticus Bergman, Craig Kalpakijan, Thomas Laprade, Mira Putnam, Irina Jasnowski Pascual, Micaela Carolan, Jessica Wilson, Pedro Wirz, Tracy Molis, Jan Kiefer, Elliott Jamal Robbins, and Robert Sandler.

Craig Kalpakjian was an early adopter of the computer made image. They were dystopic interiors often office like. Rid of human presence, cleaned of human residue. 

This new piece  "Untitled" (Natural Beauty #006b) is bucolic in comparison.

It shows a floor made of alternating mauve and pink lines that almost become beach like, meeting a glowing wall. I particularly like how the edge of the room (if that's what it is) is rippled. Small decorative touches go a long way in this work

Pedro Wirz is a Swiss Brazilian artist. His piece looks like an iron dragon, a Pre-Enlightenment talisman. Jessica Wilson's print shows, perhaps, ET's hand emerging from a murky background.

Micaela Carolan's piece (top) "We don’t believe in myths, we're the voices of the moment" 2021 made from Memory Blanket and plaster is a beautiful sculpture. It's an image of her legs but with her body missing. The fabric cast and then worked and polished so that it reads like Neo-Classical drapery.

It reminds me of a cemetery memorial separated from its moorings. And Marizio Cattelan' piece, "All," from 2007. It's of sculpted sheet covered bodies, washed up maybe or gunned down, thrown over what has become the remainder, the flesh left behind, all re realized in Carrara marble.

But Carolan’s work is not distanced from her in the way Cattelan’s workers are from his. They’ve been given the stone, the design and a promise of payment. Her piece represents her commitment to an idea. A double description if you like, the representation of a thing and an image of the making of the representation of the thing. We imagine her sitting there making it and then leaving it behind.

Few artists can make themselves understood in as few lines as Elliott Jamal Robbins. He goes right back to the roots of African American cartooning. The black kid character he frequently depicts is like an art world version of Jackie Ormes' Patty Jo. Ormes created the Patty Jo and Ginger cartoon  for the Pittsburgh Courier in 1946, she was the first black female cartoonist. Patty Jo was a little girl with a smart take on the world’s foibles (and racism) Only in Robbins’ work there's no need for words. 

Untitled, (Left to Right 6 of 8) 2020 Watercolour on paper

The three drawings in the show have reduced the kid to some lines and bleeding watercolours in blues, yellows and reds. His jaunty step is all that’s left but it’s plenty.

The show's theme of studied absence is prescient. It's tempting to see everything cultural, Post Covid (if that’s really where we are) as being about Post Covid. It's not just the absence of certain people but walking through New York you notice the restaurants, bars and businesses boarded up and more people on the street.

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