Critics’ Picks

Installation view, 2006.

Installation view, 2006.

Vienna

Robert Barry

Galerie Steinek
Eschenbachgasse 4
September 12–October 20, 2006

The words DESIRE and REMIND, written in green, semitransparent letters, run diagonally across the two street-facing windows of this gallery’s new premises on Eschenbachgasse. Inside, the glittering words SUGGEST, ALMOST, and ABSURD, rendered in silver vinyl, have been affixed to the wall. They reflect light, appear to float free from the wall, and create an almost devotional atmosphere. Three monochrome paintings intensify this impression, and the words they harbor can only be perceived after a careful perusal. In another room, Barry presents a video of a train journey from Brussels to Paris. The words that appear on the train window (TROUBLE, LOST, and AVOID) are superimposed on the images of the landscape flickering by in the same way that the words in the display windows overlie the street life outside; not site-specific, they nonetheless reach out to and make connections with the surrounding landscape. In this wonderful exhibition, Barry has redeployed his repertoire of words and text art with persuasive lightness, forging links between the building, the newly designed gallery, and the surrounding environment.