Critics’ Picks

Rona Pondick, Yellow Blue Black White, 2013–18, pigmented resin, acrylic, epoxy modeling compound, 20 1/2 x 17 3/4 x 17 7/8".

Los Angeles

Rona Pondick

Zevitas Marcus
2754 S La Cienega Blvd
February 9–March 30

For the better part of the still-young twenty-first century, Rona Pondick’s primary material has been steel, out of which she has fashioned fantastical human-plant-animal hybrids that seduce and disturb in equal measure. This modest installation of recent work shows her creatively plumbing a new set of media—resin, acrylic, and modeling compound—and all their formal possibilities.

One of her first works in these materials,Yellow Blue Black White, 2013–18, is a vibrant yellow cast of Pondick’s face attached to a “body,” a variegated mass covered with blue and black indentations. In its strategic use of color, the piece recalls some of the artist’s earliest sculptures, such as Baby Blue, 1990. One doll-size hand of this bean-shaped being is placed atop its chest (if one might hazard a guess at its anatomy), and the other gracefully rests palm-up on the ground. While her materials might seem to call for a more improvisational method, Pondick is no less exacting in her construction, employing an abrupt (yet somehow still subtle) transition between the opaque and translucent yellows of the creature’s wrist and fingers. Another sculpture, Magenta Swimming in Yellow, 2015–17, also features Pondick’s head, this time cast in a luminous purple. Clear resin rises up from an opaque lemon-colored base to the height of Pondick’s mouth, dramatizing an encasement, or perhaps a glacially paced drowning. Blurred but nevertheless discernable are the outlines of the diminutive body of this figure, who slumps against a couple of carefully placed supports. As perverse as it is, the deep pleasure of looking at these sculptures provides a vision of transformation, for both the artist and her avatars.