Critics’ Picks

Phoebe Washburn, Nothing's Cutie, 2004. Installation view.

New York

Phoebe Washburn/Simone Shubuck

Feuer/Messler
319 Grand Street
September 2 - October 2

The recently expanded LFL has taken advantage of its extra space with a gallery-filling installation by Phoebe Washburn, who uses scavenged or recycled materials to make large-scale constructions that seem to take shape according to some organic logic of their own. Here she’s outdone herself with a promontory of vertically aligned, pastel-painted wood scraps, held together with drywall screws and punctuated by pencils, empty Staples boxes, rolls of masking tape, and debris-strewn sand traps. With its antic yet imposing presence and implicit ecological ethos, the piece situates itself in the genealogy of environmental art by way of the crazed-Dumpster-diver sensibility of Jason Rhoades. In the gallery’s back room, Simone Shubuck’s solo debut features delicate mixed-media drawings whose flattened, obsessive compositions recall Adolf Wölfli’s. Shubuck’s recherché references—to Peter Beard, Egon Schiele, and Method and Red, among other things—bring a cultural insider’s perspective to the visual conventions of “outsider” art.