50 E 1st Street
November 3 - January 10
The printed page can conceal. Things can hide between the lines—subtext, implication, allusion, etc.—but they can also be stashed between the pages. Maybe your dad’s copy of Bob Woodward’s State of Denial (2007) is a hollowed-out hiding spot for his amyl nitrate. Or perhaps you once tried that rarely successful high school trick of slipping your comic book or porn rag within the chapters of your textbook during study hall.
Stuart Ringholt’s spare and blunt little collage series, “Nudes,” 2013, offers up cutouts of Minimalist monoliths, abstract canvases, and other artworks that are pasted over X-rated bits of pinups and porn stars. Many of the collage grounds are spreads from Taschen’s The Big Book of Pussy (2011) and The Big Penis Book (2008). Ringholt’s interventions are worked into the images rather seamlessly, and in some instances feel as though they are, uncannily, part of the printed whole.
The collages poke fun at exploitation and cliché while making art objects look plainly absurd: A disheveled redhead in garters and silver pumps lies amid a field of craggy rocks, looking obliquely over her shoulder, while her ass is obscured by a concrete cube. The notion of being “objectified” here twists into a bit of concrete comedy. In another work, a woman kneels on an orange polyester bedspread with a slip of lavender silk falling from one shoulder. A generic-looking ancient Egyptian drawing hangs on the wall in the background, and a Joan Miró print is pasted over her torso and thighs. The drawing is a cheap prop in this trite pornographic mise-en-scène, while the chunky squiggles and fine curving lines of the Miró block what was surely intended as the main attraction—Ringholt one, Miró nothing.