Critics’ Picks

Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Dress, 2016, hardware, acrylic polymer and ink-jet prints on acetate on Plexiglas, 50 x 18 x 1/2''.

New York

Sara Greenberger Rafferty

Rachel Uffner Gallery
170 Suffolk Street
April 3–May 15, 2016

From afar, Sara Greenberger Rafferty’s works look like big glossy Shrinky Dinks pressed against the walls. And up close, too, with their wavy, irregular Plexiglas edges and splotchy colored areas—especially the ones that evoke paper-doll clothes, such as the disembodied form in Dress (all works 2016), with its rainbow popsicle geometry, or Wolford Shapewear and Various Objects, which draws you in with its painterly lingerie curves in “nude” and a picture from a monograph on Chardin. But, unlike Dinks, Rafferty’s objects have an ethereal depth, achieved with layers of ink-jet printing and acrylic polymer paint. Screwed into the walls, these seductive collage-like pieces mix industrial processes and materials with office supplies. In FM FM 1990, a washy silhouette in a fuchsia shirtdress—maybe a mannequin torso—resembles a laminated ghost divided into a grid of wrinkled letter-size acetate sheets, the Hewlett Packard label still visible. Faintly printed, backwards text is hard to make out. The MOSCH of MOSCHINO, however, is unmistakable.

Brands, luxury and otherwise, are important here and appear as they might in dreams—internalized, filtered, and distorted, mixed with memories, aspirations, or notes-to-self. The show, titled “Dresses and Books,” literalizes how exteriors (covers, cases, clothes, and screens) can be both transparent and reflective, refracting their contents while mirroring their environs. It also captures the curious way apparel floats in blank space on webpages and in virtual shopping carts, awaiting our final decision.