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How to Bump into a Sculpture
Galerie Frank Elbaz, Dallas, Texas
Recommendation by John Zotos

"How to Bump into a Sculpture: Davide Balula, Isabelle Cornaro, Rachel Harrison," installation view, galerie frank elbaz, Dallas, 2018

Continuing through January 26, 2019

“Sculpture is what you bump into when you back up to see a painting” Barnett Newman once quipped back in the 1950’s, during the heyday of New York School abstract painting. The statement not only underscores the competition between painting and sculpture that has lasted since the time of the ancient Greeks, it also refers to how sculpture found itself out of steam and on the verge of a new beginning. A turning point theorized at the time through what Rosalind Krauss formulated as “sculpture in the expanded field” paved the way decades later for what we find in this excellent show, curated by art historian Paul Galvez. The curatorial argument contends that in current sculptural practice we find art actually craving for interaction in a way that upends Newman’s rancor.

Davide Balula’s wooden relief, “Vent,” reaches out into the gallery space with air propelled through vents in the surface by hidden fans. The air catches us off guard, as it comes from an apparently ordinary object hanging on the wall. The effect represents how Balula tests boundaries and limits. Isabelle Cornaro explores the mingling of minimalism and kitsch in “Untitled (P#3),” where a tall pedestal made of wood, painted to look like bronze, sports found objects. Discarded jewelry sits on top while various chains and necklaces careen down one side, a conflation of materials and styles dominating the middle of the gallery space. Rachel Harrison’s “Casabella” anchors the room and steals the show with its loud day-glo green-yellow surface. A large monolith, it leans against the wall, a bold provocation buttressed by kitchen scrubbers.

Galerie Frank Elbaz

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