via Artforum Picks: [Link]
50 White Street
March 5–May 1
Identifying Carol Bove’s particular approach to the found object is no easy task. The Brooklyn-based artist plunders a broad range of styles and periods, yet her aesthetic somehow remains unmistakable. And even when the items she displays are of entirely natural origin, their manner of presentation expresses the refined imposition of a singular style. Yes, there are cultural codes to be cracked in Bove’s careful constructions and juxtapositions, but it’s their exquisite formal exactitude that captivates. To use abalone shells, peacock feathers, and delicate beaded curtains might suggest an unfortunate lapse into New Age sappiness, but Bove channels even these familiar models of conventional beauty toward unexpectedly subtle and allusive ends. Here making judicious use of this new gallery’s handsome vintage interior, the artist exudes quiet sangfroid.
Several works in the show force materials ravaged by various strains of decay into conjunction with newer, sleeker structures. The results generate an engaging visual-tactile friction and initiate an interrogation of the processes of intellectual historicization and physical entropy that poses some intriguing questions about the ways in which we communicate individual and cultural importance. Countless artists have made knowing use of the pedestal as a signifier of “museum-worthy” status, but few have produced such fine-tooled or individual bases as those here. (In the likes of Untitled, 2009, and The Oracle, 2010, they begin to resemble living things themselves in their reactive idiosyncrasies, mirroring the organic patterns of branches or veins.) Weaving the made and the grown together with rare sensitivity, Bove delves deep into the interaction of appearance, taste, and meaning.