Critics’ Picks

Still, 2005.

Still, 2005.

New York

Fred Eerdekens

Spencer Brownstone Gallery
3 Wooster Street
November 2–December 22, 2005

The idea that hidden messages are embedded in objects is a mainstay of both art and mysticism, from Netherlandish altarpieces to ancient shamans examining the entrails of sheep for omens. Belgian artist Fred Eerdekens's sculptures do most of the divining for viewers, rather than making them sift through iconography or intestines. Light shines through a fake tree, projecting the word “Still” onto the wall. Curly bits of mounted copper that look entirely abstract reveal the phrase “A very short story with a lot of fiction in the middle and something real in the end” when light is cast upon them. And mirrored disks tossed on the floor, seemingly at random, reflect the word “forever” in shimmering light. An inquiry at the front desk revealed that Eerdekens can occasionally be too subtle: A batch of silverpoint drawings aren't fuzzy images of dogs, but rather clouds. But the idea that cryptic dispatches proliferate in the world at large is an attractive one for those weary of empiricism, positivism, and every other -ism that made this notion obsolete.