Critics’ Picks

Genesis Belanger, Something Fishy, 2017, porcelain, 3 x 6 x 4".

Genesis Belanger, Something Fishy, 2017, porcelain, 3 x 6 x 4".

New York

Genesis Belanger

60-40 56th Drive
September 9–November 4, 2017

Genesis Belanger’s first solo presentation at this gallery, with modestly sized porcelain, stoneware, and cast-concrete objects, is suggestive and strange. Most of her sculptures are methodically situated throughout the space on cement pedestals and a wall-mounted shelf, while a few occupy the floor. Many of her pieces feature slightly overscale fingers grasping a variety of things that reference oral consumption: bananas, a stick of gum, and a blue Oreo-like cookie with a copious amount of cream filling.

Belanger’s suggestive foodstuffs are framed by a dark whimsy: A porcelain hot dog with a lascivious squirt of mustard is nestled into a stoneware wedge sandal (Dog in Heels, all works 2017) sitting atop a stool with wobbly cigarettes for legs (Sitting Habit). Nearby, an open tin of sardines reveals fillets that are actually cartoon eyes (Something Fishy). Her forms—so eerily smooth, so uncomfortably supple-looking—are rendered even weirder by her confectionary palette that calls to mind fondant icing and Necco wafers.

Belanger addresses her formal debt to Robert Gober—the ur-sculptor of ominously funny and sexualized reproductions of household items merged with body parts—especially by her inclusion of an untitled white porcelain sink plugged by a cement cigarette butt. While the artist’s objects lack the urgency of Gober’s sculptures, which often served as somber testaments to the AIDS crisis, they assure the viewer of their maker’s vested interest in culling the uncanny from the ordinary.