Robert Mallary’s large sculptural slabs, full of sand, wood, cardboard, and resin, recall Anselm Kiefer and Eva Hesse with their distinctively brutish declaration of industrial presence and inner city found materials. That’s fine, but what keeps this show from being nothing much more than historical nostalgia (Mallary died in 1997) are his sinister figures made from resin-impregnated tuxedos and steel armatures, which could take on one of Louise Bourgeois’s spiders. Take “Harpy” (1962), for instance: she looms 7 1/2 feet high, a desiccated skeleton resembling road kill. Her dark leathery skin is made from the tuxedos of the dashing suitors she’s presumably destroyed. She sends chills down one’s spine.
Published courtesy of ArtScene ©2010