Critics’ Picks

Jimmy Raskin, Station 1, 2021, UV-cured inkjet on paper mounted on aluminum, 18 1/2 x 31 3/4".

Jimmy Raskin, Station 1, 2021, UV-cured inkjet on paper mounted on aluminum, 18 1/2 x 31 3/4".

New York

Jimmy Raskin

Miguel Abreu Gallery | Orchard Street
36 Orchard Street
December 9, 2021–February 5, 2022

Jimmy Raskin is an aberrant poet who reveals himself on rare and vital occasions, like “a kind of ten-year cicada,” as critic John Reed once wrote. His work is often a whirlwind of chaotic, exciting, and sometimes incomprehensible musings on the nature of artistic creativity. Thankfully for us, Raskin has emerged from the soil once again with “Stations of the Last Eccentric,” a presentation that attempts to describe a metaphysical state in which an artist’s desire to create has evaporated into absolute fulfillment, an experience that, per Raskin, is “filled to the brim with inspiration, but no desire to act upon it.”

If you’re confused by the concept, it’s OK. Raskin created a guide, the show’s central motif: a perspectival “Cone of Expression”—the titular figure is bisected by a single line, which connects the form’s vertex to its base. Primordial Diagrams (all works 2021), located at the front of the gallery, presents this map across a suite of eight black-and-white ink-jet illustrations. The prints call to mind a number of things: various fragments of the Hermann Minkowski’s space-time diagram, for instance, or even occult symbols. An accompanying audio component offers an abstruse list of instructions in deciphering the piece before experiencing the rest of the exhibition.

Stations 1–9, 2021, are cosmic explosions of kaleidoscopic pattern and color. These UV-cured ink-jet renderings of the universe, originally captured by satellites and mounted on aluminum, have been digitally altered by Raskin into uncanny images, both beautiful and terrifying: A Cone of Expression appears front and center in almost every work here. Raskin’s Stations make me think of the stations of the cross, but these pieces have more in common with a DMT trip than the crucifixion of Christ. If at this point you’ve found yourself spiraling into an art induced neurosis, perhaps you need to recalibrate your metacognition, as Raskin would likely advise.