Critics’ Picks

Liz Craft, Witch Finger (Pinky), 2019, mixed media, 20 x 18 x 1".

Liz Craft, Witch Finger (Pinky), 2019, mixed media, 20 x 18 x 1".

New York

Liz Craft

Baby Company
73 Allen Street Suite 303
October 23–November 24, 2019

Walking down Chinatown’s streets, I try to avoid all manner of tourist and shopper, sagging grate and cellar door. Visiting Baby Company didn’t free me of these urban acrobatics. The materials of the city itself, such as bricks, manhole covers, drains, and even its very own citizens, appear in Liz Craft’s solo exhibition, “Escape From New York.” Five flat aluminum figures—either standing contrapposto or pushed up against a wall, lying down or sitting on the floor—populate the gallery. Like the pedestrians rushing outside, these individuals can’t be ignored, even though they’re stock-still. Craft’s silhouettes (no faces, just facades) remind us that, like its myriad buildings, we’re a part of Gotham’s backdrop, too: not so much actors as features—pretty and ugly, new and old, frumpish and fancy.

The artist’s duct and vent sculptures, framed with elegantly glazed ceramic tiles, are mounted to the wall. They conceal and reveal in equal measure: Take Empty, 2019, which tempts us with grates that only give way to darkness. Other such works would be more at home on the sidewalk, horizontal. Some of their contents—“cast-off” pistachio shells and dollar bills, pieces of muddied newsprint, stacks of clothes, and a plastic costume witch finger with a long nail and mint-green skin—defy gravity. These bits of unwanted consumptive excess, tenderly collected and cared for by Craft, have been detourned into tiny delicacies: proverbial trash made into so much treasure.