Critics’ Picks

Sex in the Office, 2007, plywood, plastic floor liner, acrylic, oil and spray paint, glass, two pieces of stucco-finished table base, bookshelf, four metal table legs, frame and Plexiglas, yarn, plasticine, zip ties, thread, shells, rubber car mat, tape, and canvas from oil painting, 103 x 44 1/2 x 47".

Los Angeles

Jessica Stockholder

6150 Wilshire Blvd.
September 8–October 20

The compound construction of Jessica Stockholder’s last name indicates both the assemblage of parts into a unity and the taking stock of material things that together constitute the artist’s sculptural practice. Articulated on a more intimate scale than the installations that best showcase her exuberant accumulations, the five recent sculptures in this exhibition project out from the gallery’s perimeter as arrangements of manipulated consumer goods piled up in the tradition of Robert Rauschenberg’s combines. Stockholder emerges from the storeroom with a poetry of inventory: a palm-leaf lamp, lightbulbs, extension cords, a plastic yellow ball, a bookshelf, a yellow dishwashing scrubby, zip ties, shells, a pink children’s chair, carpet, acrylic, oil paint. Brightly colored material and vibrant passages of paint punctuate the group’s dominant whites, grays, and fleshy tans. Thrift-store items combine with utilitarian, IKEA-like objects to relate specifically to the body’s dimensions and cater to its desire for haptic experience. The exhibition’s centerpiece is Sex in the Office, 2007, a provocation that uplifts the entire show by triggering thoughts of R. Kelly’s “Sex in the Kitchen” (2005) while suggesting an erotics of mundane material surfaces. Materials acquire libidos in the illicit romance Stockholder stages, whether it’s a limp rubber mat hung on a rack or, elsewhere, the almost obscene texture of fake fur coated in thick pink paint.