Critics’ Picks

Ivy Haldeman, Close Up, Calf Over Thigh, Cream, Index and Middle Finger Forward, 2018, acrylic on linen, 24 x 16 1/2".

New York

Ivy Haldeman and Douglas Rieger

Helena Anrather
28 Elizabeth Street
April 26 - June 17

Ivy Haldeman’s voyeuristic paintings take a joke—all those pairs of hotdog legs extruded onto Instagram beaches—and pull it even further. Her anthropomorphized hotdogs experiment with “lifestyle” prosthetics. They read a book before falling asleep on it, cradle a bananaphone, and daub cream onto a shapely calf. They’re wearing nude pumps and recline in pillowy buns like a Vienna Beef in furs. When their hands—or, rather, knotted serpentine tangles of arms—aren’t tied, as they are in the piece Long Arm, Loop, Half Knot, Coin (all works cited, 2018), they’re holding the flaccid noodle of a cigarette, long enough to drape over a free finger.

Belts, buckles, chains, and a taxonomy of orifices in Douglas Rieger’s wooden sculptures extend the s/m vibe. Particularly exciting is the rather finely turned Gentleman, which reveals new textures and stretchable gauges from every angle. Its jaw is sculpted, and its pate is polished, while an extended cartoony bulge of a retinal cone suggests it’s enjoying the show. Turn around: He’s holding a dildo stacked with anal beads on one end and a teat on the other. Turn again, and a belly button sighs into a pubic thatch.

If Haldeman’s strict mustard, mayo, and Thousand Island palette provides the condiments, flashes of Pepto-Bismol pink in Rieger’s works bring the postprandial relief. Yet the sculptures (the smaller ones especially, which suggest handheld tools or toys) eschew the elegant languor of Haldeman’s hotdogs, suggesting a tension between a Kegel and a clenched fist.