Critics’ Picks

Haegue Yang, Towel Light Sculpture––Organic Hygienic, 2012, clothing rack, light bulbs, cable, towel, yarn, bells, wicker hamster tunnel, sushi mat, dog training dummy, pet toys, bamboo roots, grommets, glue press, 79 1/8 x 45 x 45".

Haegue Yang, Towel Light Sculpture––Organic Hygienic, 2012, clothing rack, light bulbs, cable, towel, yarn, bells, wicker hamster tunnel, sushi mat, dog training dummy, pet toys, bamboo roots, grommets, glue press, 79 1/8 x 45 x 45".

New York

Haegue Yang

Greene Naftali Gallery
508 West 26th Street Ground Floor
February 23–March 24, 2012

Haegue Yang’s fixation with absence and displacement—the increasing erasure of localized communities and dislodgment of the individual by transient lifestyles—persists in “Multi Faith Room,” her solo debut at Greene Naftali. Three new venetian blind installations hang from the ceiling and cast a slated pattern of light and shadow over the gallery floor, fracturing perception with streaks of light and conjuring that sacred environment so signature to Yang’s work. That said, an almost jubilant self-possession—not the melancholic sense of loss that has come to be associated with her artistic practice—characterizes these pieces on view. This vibrant quality seems triggered by the liminal space the exhibition predicates itself on: an airport prayer room.

Consider her jangly compositions comprising sundry of domestic and natural items—from power cords to hamster tunnels to pine cones and bamboo mats—all fastidiously draped over rolling clothing racks, creating dazzling totemlike sculptures. Towel Light Sculpture—Organic Hygienic, 2012, with its frosted light bulbs, bright white towels, knots of wicker, and bundles of silver bells, brings a collection of bric-a-brac into meticulous symmetry: The silver bells glitter in the glowing yellow light, their twinkly coloring accented by the soft white fabric. As in an airport, where perpetual transience functions to unify a mass strangers, here, the eclectic mix of materials breeds a chaotic concord; signally that in moments where homogeneity is lost, “otherness,” is given space to flourish. As formalistically scrupulous as the materials are erratic, Yang’s elegant meditations seem to indicate that, today, dissolution might be a prerequisite for harmony.