Critics’ Picks

Stefanie Victor, Sculptures for Margaret #26 (detail), 2016, brass and bronze with gold plating on dyed and bleached fabric on shelf, 38 x 13 x 3".

San Francisco

Stefanie Victor and Christopher Garrett

26 Lilac Street
September 9–October 22

Stefanie Victor and Christopher Garrett’s show comprises a study in restraint and bodily intimacy that is disarmingly delicate in physical scale. Using a shared language of personal ornamentation in their approaches to formal in-between states, the artists take on the aesthetics and concept of the fold as something that both covers and opens out onto something else.

Victor’s metal sculptures, vaguely kinetic and often wall-mounted, are domestic in nature and size and also simultaneously intricate and borderline industrial. Both the metal pieces and her cloth sculptures, on which the metal structures are sometimes situated, hover in an understated, suspended identity, as in Sculptures for Margaret #26, 2016, where a geometrically dyed and bleached fabric piece echoes the painterly lines of the pentagonal gold-plated sculpture laid on it.

In a deep exchange with this subdued approach, Garrett’s found moth carcasses, partially painted with bright jewel-toned dabs of acrylic and gouache, immediately recall costume jewelry as much as the fleeting, already-decaying presence of material bodies. What at first seems merely decorative turns out to be both memento mori and another exploration of ambiguous states, this time via shapes of color, as in the safety-orange-coated Even Puzzles Start Small, 2015–16. This effect is intensified by the way that the painted color itself turns out to literally support and prop up the expired organic matter beneath: a hinge between the body and pure form.