Critics’ Picks

Shilpa Gupta, THERE IS NO EXPLOSIVE IN THIS / Table II / Manchester International Airport, 2007, sixty-seven confiscated objects, dimensions variable.


“Ready Made”

Yvon Lambert Bookshop
108, rue Vielle du Temple
June 27–September 6

“Ready Made,” the Parisian half of the gallery’s summer group shows, revisits the legacy of Marcel Duchamp’s groundbreaking proposition that objects can also be works of art. While Saâdane Afif directly references Duchamp in his series of framed news and catalogue clippings, M. D. Urinoire, 2008, most of the show instead only loosely invokes the readymade and its conceptual implications. Bertrand Lavier elevates his crashed motorcycle to the status of art by gracefully suspending it from the ceiling, while Kaz Oshiro inverts the Duchampian model in Microwave Oven #4, 2007, an artwork that mimics a banal appliance. Gavin Turk’s Turkey Foil Box, 2007, similarly plays on the difference between object and artifice, but his brightly screenprinted wooden boxes made to resemble foil line the floor like Minimal sculptures, suggesting a mix between Andy Warhol and Walter De Maria. Jonathan Monk’s A Supporting Structure for a Structural Support, 2008, is merely scaffolding, but its simple geometry and large size also evoke Minimalism. On a smaller scale, Haim Steinbach humorously juxtaposes an Eiffel Tower statuette alongside a taller wooden pepper mill, reducing the iconic power of the tower even as he places both pieces atop a display shelf. While most of the work is situated in the gallery’s two main rooms, the show spills over to a smaller gallery and basement in an adjacent building, where Shilpa Gupta’s THERE IS NO EXPLOSIVE IN THIS / Table II / Manchester International Airport, 2007, rests on a starkly lit table. Objects range from a toothpaste tube to a sword; each is visible through a cloth wrapping that renders it legible as a common object and at the same time aestheticizes it.