Critics’ Picks

Table with Curios and Plants (detail), 2006.

Table with Curios and Plants (detail), 2006.

London

Liz Craft

Alison Jacques
16 - 18 Berners Street
June 2–July 1, 2006

Acutely aware of the eccentricities of Californian alternative lifestyles, Los Angeles native Liz Craft playfully infuses the tacky implications of bronze figurative sculpture with the quirky charm of flea-market kitsch. In these new works, Craft recalls objects once abandoned in empty lots or dusty junk-shop corners, whimsically embellishing both composition and surface with details that flash back to hippie culture and rock ’n’ roll. For Tire with Bird, 2006, Craft balances material solidity against fanciful superficiality as she softens an encounter between the detritus of an urban wasteland and a plumed vision of a cockatoo’s Shangri-la. Table with Curios and Plants, 2006, is arrayed with painted bronze cacti, aloe vera plants, and animal figurines. Installed in the back room of the gallery beneath a greenhouselike glass roof, the reality of the casually arranged trinkets expands to conjure a slightly sloppy American garage sale in a stylish corner of London’s West End. Concerned with a West Coast aesthetic partly dwelling within the popular imagination and partly arising from reality, Craft’s work mines the discrepancies embedded in this distinct place and sensibility. As if monumentalizing fragments of personal experiences, Craft creates a local narrative, enlisting a metallic alloy to preserve it.