Critics’ Picks

View of “Minutes, hours, or days,” 2021.

View of “Minutes, hours, or days,” 2021.


Patricia L. Boyd

Kunstverein München
Galeriestraße 4
March 9–May 23, 2021

In “Hold,” Patricia L. Boyd turns the white cube inside out. For “Minutes, hours, or days,” 2021, the artist exposed large sheets of photosensitive paper to ambient light from her apartment windows, installing the results beneath the high windows of the main hall so as to suggest a kind of ghost architecture, one whose visibility fluctuates with the play of sun and shadow in the gallery, devoid of artificial light. Other interventions rely on spatial caesurae, as in Incubator, 2021, for which the artist has installed floor-to-ceiling panes rendering part of the Kunstverein inaccessible. Together, these perceptual barriers point to the bodied imbalances inherent in the display of contemporary art, whose environments still largely lay claim to “neutral” emptiness.

For “Wall Pieces,” 2017–, Boyd made negative casts of a disassembled record player and an office chair from a bankrupt start-up that she bought at auction. As casting material, she recycled used fat with burnt food particles from different types of restaurants. New sculptures from this series are embedded above a doorway, inserted into drywalls built for this purpose, which disrupt the axial symmetry and stately claim to power of the former Electoral Gallery. Existing casts from earlier exhibitions by Boyd are hung on the wall with their surrounding pieces of wall. These prostheses, as she describes them, occupy a discursive interstice created by the loss of the model. Here, Boyd sounds out the false transparencies of the exhibition space as well as its hidden capacities, holding both firmly in place.