New York

Keith Hollingworth

Keith Hollingworth’s sculpture at Paula Cooper is more circumscribed in this respect than Graves’ is. It depends more on the power of a specific image than on the open-ended evocation of Graves’ work. It counts on incongruity for its impact: the unexpected introduction of real objects from nature (pine cones, feathers) set in cleanly constructed wooden boxes and frames. His pieces seem to exist in the imagination, much as Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel did, rather than in three-dimensional space. The artist emphasizes this quality of immateriality by painting his wood and metal frames white or some other non-obtrusive color, or by using visually insubstantial materials like chicken wire, sheeting, lightweight chains and open-spoked wheels. Even his allusions are weight-denying: flight, motion, suspension.

Although he uses natural objects, he doesn’t revel in them. They are always carefully constrained by boxes with colored plexiglass sides or by “artful” arrangement that declares the action of his hand upon them. He was actually freer with materials in his earlier, ceramic pieces. There was an eruption of color, seductive texture and flesh-evoking shapes in those works that is missing from the guardedly poetic constructions in his present show. These are somewhat austere, but they are filled with personal references that add to their appeal. And the artist’s whimsy and consistent inventiveness come through strongly.

Kasha Linville