Critics’ Picks

Media Information Transmission Center, 2003.

New York

Jules de Balincourt

319 Grand Street
May 17–June 14

“Land of Many Uses,” Jules de Balincourt’s solo show at LFL, takes its name from the tone-deaf US Forest Service slogan, which would seem to cheerfully allude to old-growth logging. The spirit of rueful irony is borne out in paintings that show human interlopers, often nude, gamboling cluelessly through post-Edenic sylvan settings. But while nature is clearly on de Balincourt’s agenda, naturalism isn’t: Working mostly in enamel and spray paint on wood, he uses stencils and X-Acto knives to create layered, collagelike compositions that frequently wander into surreality. In Media Information Transmission Center, 2003, two hirsute DJs broadcast from a cabin in the woods; the signals emerging from their satellite dishes are pictured as bands of color worthy of Bridget Riley. There are large-scale three-dimensional works here too: Flood Piece, 2002, is a model of the Los Angeles neighborhood Malibu Lake, built in a wooden tub. Over the course of forty-minute intervals, the tiny bungalows are gradually submerged in blue-green water; suddenly, the ecology of fear looks as beguiling as a fairy tale.