New York

Richard Randell

Royal Marks Gallery

Richard Randell is simultaneously investigating two kinds of structure. One, tautly skinned and light, like an air-wing section, was seen throughout last season at Royal Marks’s laudable sculpture gatherings. These works transmit a sense of buoyancy as if, in truth, a vacuum actually were supporting their nimbly crafted arc slabs. At the same time the effervescence of these works is oddly neutralized by the vertically symmetrical axis which transforms them into formal and ritualized objects.

Randell’s new works are concerned with “klapper” organizations—lanky structures which evoke the flipping card trick that so fascinated us as children. This latter group seems to me to be considerably more provocative than the former, since its active, industrial aluminum panels (which pleat up into the air or sprawl out across the floor, concertina-fashion) postulate the existence of controlling transparent and erratic columns of space. The lacquered, emblematic planes of the “klappers” slash through these “ultimate“ columns. Although set at fixed positions the diagonal planes postulate sculptures which, if “opened,” would be two-dimensional. They evoke a far more radical form than they take.

Randell’s sculptures are brightly painted in industrial patterns. The “klappers” particularly are handsomely bisected by a folded vertical strip which contributes to further articulating their springy structures, and to dramatizing their puzzling, potential flatness.

Robert Pincus-Witten