Critics’ Picks

Installation view, 2006.

New York

Joëlle Tuerlinckx

The Drawing Center
35 Wooster Street
July 25–April 22

It’s a surprise to encounter the overwhelming maze of vitrines, tables, wall drawings, slide and video projections, and an endless number of objects all over the Drawing Center’s often-pristine gallery. The agglomeration comprises the first New York solo show of Belgian artist Joëlle Tuerlinckx, a cult figure in Europe who seems underestimated in the US. Following in Michael Asher’s footsteps, and working on site during the course of the exhibition, Tuerlinckx questions the formal features of the exhibition space, deconstructing the Drawing Center’s gallery into the basic geometric forms that make up any room and that are usually neglected at first glance: lines, circles, bars, grids, and the specificities of their arrangement. The artist inspects these architectural components and then re-creates them using everyday materials such as paper, string, rubber bands, wooden bars, and Post-It notes. By inventing classifications, inventories, and archives, she assembles fifteen thematic zones and introduces systematization to the apparent disarray. Tuerlinckx’s visual language operates between sign and signification, object and language. Here, the artist looks for what constitutes the experience of space and aims to outline the archetypal condition of representation. In doing so, Tuerlinckx has shaped a realm where she can generate artworks infinitely.