New York

William King

Dintenfass Gallery

At the Dintenfass Gallery, William King’s latest aluminum figures looked like giant cookie cutouts, combining a stylized formalism with the humorous caricature which was more typical of his earlier vinyl and burlap stuffed models and carved wooden figure groups. Now working in half-inch-thick sheet aluminum, King has made his anonymous interpenetrating silhouettes less specific to the features and characterization of the human form. This kind of generalization is often quite effective, as in the large pair called Learning, where the elongated legs of a man bending over to hold a little girl’s hand maximize the contrast in size between the two figures; the theme of the piece takes on an affectionate and perhaps wryly silly cast through such selective distortion.

Attempts at multiple figure grouping in cast aluminum (it looks unpleasantly like badly lumped solder), such as the Greek Restaurant, with its three men sitting at a table, are less successful formally, and suffer from their superficial though more detailed modeling and description. This piece indicates King’s more literary tendency. This need to establish a motivational situation for the number of figures in a work even mars some of the cut out aluminum pieces like Interview II. What detracts most from King’s production, for all its otherwise pleasant and light-hearted attraction, is a certain chic-looking facility (the even sleeker epoxy mannequins of Frank Gallo come to mind in this context) which seems to aim more for style than for essential form or content.

Emily Wasserman