Critics’ Picks

More Medals,  Bigger Responsibility, 2005.

More Medals, Bigger Responsibility, 2005.

New York

Abigail Lazkoz

Monya Rowe
526 West 26th Street
March 3–April 9, 2005

Those who have already made their way through the crush at P.S.1’s recently unveiled “Greater New York 2005” may have glimpsed Abigail Lazkoz’s wall drawing in the second-floor stairwell. Monya Rowe gallery, however, is offering a scaled-down, intimate selection of black-and-white drawings by the Brooklyn transplant. Working within the spirit of her earlier projects—which adopted a mixed classical and contemporary visual verbiage to activate and update the problems surrounding questionable social values—Lazkoz’s five new ink-on-paper drawings take up an Escheresque, geometrical formalism that discombobulates scenes whose narratives already foretell a latent anxiety. She here explores problems of individual identity through the lens of cultural unease. The literalness of her figures’ outsized, blocky bodies suggests a sense of personal struggle; fears of belonging, responsibility, and communication are only exacerbated by each character’s position on either side of a chasm, negotiating a battlefield or treetop, or tumbling down a mine shaft. The compositions’ most critical disruption concerns the notion that, despite their gridded exteriors, these bodies cannot chart their own disordered inner worlds.