Critics’ Picks

Miho Dohi, Buttai 70, 2019, plaster, brass, wood, sponge, paper, copper wire, acrylic paint, 15 3/4 x 30 3/4 x 7 1/2''.

Miho Dohi, Buttai 70, 2019, plaster, brass, wood, sponge, paper, copper wire, acrylic paint,
15 3/4 x 30 3/4 x 7 1/2''.

Paris

Miho Dohi

Galerie Crèvecoeur
9 Rue des Cascades
January 17–February 29, 2020

Small-scale, lightweight, and delightfully off-kilter amalgams of yarn, paper, wire, wood, and other humble materials abound on walls and tables at Galerie Crèvecoeur, marking the Kanagawa, Japan–based artist Miho Dohi’s first show in Europe. To construct these sculptures, Dohi follows an experimental and intuitive process, manipulating and rotating her components and shifting their centers of gravity to produce uneven, variegated surfaces.

One of the works in the exhibition that most resembles a living form, Buttai 70 (all works cited, 2019), recalls a rib cage, with its skeleton made up of white plaster-covered copper wires. Recognition, however, is thwarted when one takes in the entirety of the sculpture. Wires splay outward from a small circular sponge affixed to corrugated folds of paper on a wooden base. Hanging from the wall, the biomorphic object is simultaneously erect and contingent—its painted passages of iridescent blues and greens only viewable from certain angles.

These playfully absurd objects are all entitled Buttai (after the Japanese word for object) and share an approximate size (each one measures somewhere between seven and twelve inches). Two exceptions here are study 1 and study 2, both plaster and cloth sculptures that assume even less determinate shapes than the other works on view. Void of color but rich in grotesqueness of form, they resemble clouds and are similarly dreamlike, fickle, and shape-shifting. If clouds are gods, as Socrates believed, then Dohi’s nebulous sculptures deserve deep admiration, if not veneration.