Critics’ Picks

Stampographic Panorama (detail), 2003

New York

Jonathan Herder

Pierogi
155 Suffolk St
May 23–June 23

Jonathan Herder, an alumnus of Art Center’s mildly infamous class of ’98, brings a batch of playful but highly disciplined collages to Pierogi. The exhibition, called “Stampology,” showcases the apparently endless formal possibilities of the postage stamp: Stampographic Panorama, 2003, uses tiny slivers of them to create a pastoral landscape dotted with cutout images of bald eagles, covered wagons, and clipper ships, all courtesy of the US Postal Service. In Washington versus Lincoln, 1994, Herder stages comical fight scenes (Abe as serpent/George as Adam; Abe as tank/George as plane) that combine ink drawing with philatelic portraits of our first and sixteenth presidents. Also included are two larger, multimedia works that incorporate images of crystals, color wheels, growth charts, and heraldry; they have a jumbled, handmade feel vaguely reminiscent of Lari Pittman's paintings. With a light yet obsessive touch (that’s a trick), Herder invests the antique mysteries of America’s visual heritage with subtle beauty and veins of good-natured comedy.