Critics’ Picks

“You.” Installation view.

“You.” Installation view.

New York

“You”

110 West 14th Street
Buzzer #1 Third Floor
October 4–November 1, 2003

Irreplaceable, sweet embraceable: The “you” of curator Lisa Kirk’s title is the second-person pronoun of pop odes from the Gershwins on. Kirk asked fourteen of her favorite youngish artists to lend works of their choosing, which she's installed in a temporarily reconfigured downtown apartment. Invited into the parlor, the fractious modes of contemporary artmaking conduct a lively klatch. Tamara Zahaykevich’s small, odd, wholly contempo foamcore constructions flank Jennifer Sirey’s pair of skinny, five-foot-ten vitrines filled with spoiled wine and fleshy pink sheets of cultured bacteria; though the untitled work dates from 2000, it could be a lost '70s-feminist classic. Ellen Alfest’s plein air oil Log in Snow, 2003, maintains a mood of quiet reverie next to Keith Mayerson’s screwed-up Scenes from Hamlet, 1999, a seven-canvas grouping of dudes from Christ to Spider-Man to Keanu that just might be telling a story about visual representation from da Vinci to Stan Lee to the Wachowski Brothers. Though the show is far from sentimental (see Robert Melee’s gleefully terrorizing Wall Unit, 2003, which includes his trademark images of a mom gone very, very bad), the premise’s sunny vibes pervade. Near the door stands the show’s generous emblem: a log carved by Kirk with the word YOU—as in “You the artists I admire, you the viewers with whom I share their work”—inside a heart.