PRINT November 1979

Jackie Ferrara’s Il-lusions

TWO APPROACHES TO JACKIE FERRARA’S sculpture seem to prevail. One stresses its “architectural” nature, finding analogues or fantasies of buildings, and unfailingly refers to the pyramids; this reading views her work allusively, linking it to “architectural imagism” in recent art. The other—less trendy—approaches it through procedures or traditions, seeing Minimalism, reductivism and general abstraction in (again) “pyramids,” “stacking” and wood. The one looks out, the other, in; one accents content, the other, form. Sometimes a writer notes that Ferrara’s work “refers to antithetical esthetic positions.”1

But beneath the layers of labels, the objects, with their own patterns and layers, resist such simplification. “Pure” objects—timeless, abstract forms—they are hardly objects “simple.” They are, instead, highly complex, as a statement from Ferrara herself implies: “I’m interested in a form

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