Critics’ Picks

Stephen Neidich, I Think I Found Your Problem, 2018, PETG plastic, muffler, 48” x 48” x 31”.

Los Angeles

Stephen Neidich and Steve Hash

HILDE
4727 W. Washington Blvd
May 12 - June 16

Stephen Neidich and Steve Hash make sculptures that seem caught in flypaper. In Hash’s almost classicist works, concrete limbs emerge from pools of Italian marble; the delicate folds of a hanging towel and a rippling curtain are frozen in cast concrete. While the towel hangs from the wall like a locker-room remnant, the curtain defies gravity like a stalagmite that, when peered into, reveals a mirror, and another world through the looking glass. This subject matter, in combination with Hash’s materials and their chroma, makes his sculptures feel almost funereal, memento mori.

Neidich catches a box fan, a muffler, and a container of protein powder stabbed with a curtain rod in distinct splashes of clear resin. Extending from the floor or ceiling, each object is suspended in motion. Sucked tight in the stiff, translucent material, these otherwise useful, butch things are preserved and rendered utterly useless, impotent.

The press release (penned by the female gallerist) presents the two-man show through the lens of a fictional construction company, riffing on both artists’ use of industrial materials. Though construction materials have featured in art by all genders, when employed here by two cis-male artists, it’s hard not to read into their chosen medium through the lens of masculinity. As gender goes fluid and binaries refract into spectrums, this exhibition is a curious reflection on the changing nature of our conceptions of “manliness.” Neidich’s works hover as artifacts of an industrial age trapped in preservatives for future archaeologists to analyze; Hash’s jut like tombstones from the future grave of the patriarchy. Masculinity is caught in Medusa’s glare.