Critics’ Picks

Anthony Goicolea, Mama's Boy, 2003.

New York

“Mama's Boy”

White Columns
91 Horatio St
December 17–February 1

Curated by Jane Harris, this group show depicts a fairly clean-cut and well-bred state of postabject manhood among the artistic nephews of Mike Kelley, Sean Landers, and Paul McCarthy. The gallery is dominated, aurally and spatially, by Michael Zansky’s Little Dancer Age 14, 2002–2003, a kinetic assemblage named after the Degas sculpture and built around a twirling plastic insect in a pink frilly dress. With its loud squeaks, murmuring recorded voices, and bristling armature of tripods and C-clamps, the piece offers a spectacle of high-mechanical dudgeon. At the opposite end of the spectrum, painter Michael Coughlan presents a group of quietly mysterious, untitled desert scenes. The largest shows a mirror, a lightbulb, and two cacti on parched ground under a distant orange sun: a Smithson displacement, possibly. Anthony Goicolea's collaged drawings on vellum are the most evocative and accomplished works here: Mama’s Boy, 2003, features two young men—one with a bandage on his arm, the other holding a steak to his eye—along with floating iconography including a picket fence and a dead lamb. Crotch Grabber, 2003, depicts a kid in a slummy doorway touching his formidable member through his pants. In all Goicolea’s pictures, one senses the requisite toughness of the so-called sensitive boy.