“Against Automatism”

1401 16th Street
July 9, 2015–September 5, 2015

View of “Against Automatism,” 2015.

An astute visitor entering Fused Space—a two-year-old venue hosted by designer Yves Bťhar and curated by dealer Jessica Silverman—might notice three small organic forms clinging to fluorescent lights like insects drawn to a glow. The tiny delicate structures are cast-bronze lavender stems patinated with iron by K.r.m. Mooney, one of seven artists in this visually eclectic group show of works loosely united by a focus on the intersection of the human body and the industrial world.

Like Mooney, Jason Benson combines natural and mass-produced materials—snail shells, cardboard, and plastic twist ties, for example—in his three resin collage lamps that conjure the somatic grotesque. Hanging at the artist’s ear height, three delicate shells painted in pastel colors by Alex Dordoy, all titled Sleepwalker, 2015, are an exquisite foil to Benson’s messiness. Thomas Wachholz’s abstractions also engage with unconventional materials: Scribbles evocative of Cy Twombly are actually residue from striking matches on phosphorus-coated wood panels. Nearby, the frenzied diagrams of a manic creative mind bring together skeleton reptilian heads, springs, screws, and gears in Abu Bakarr Mansaray’s large fantastical drawing Hell, 2015. Sydney Shen’s sensuous “F-Hole” series, 2015, an homage to Man Ray, and Paul Kos’s “Emboss” photographs, 1995, share a droll sexuality. Shen pairs F-holes cut from suede with Internet-sourced images of objects like a lamp and a martini glass, while Kos’s life-size black-and-white prints depict nude women, their backsides bearing the pattern of adjacent chairs. This desire to grant commonplace items greater significance resonates throughout.

— Jeanne Gerrity