New York

Salvatore Romano

Max Hutchinson Gallery

The publicity given Salvatore Romano’s work at Max Hutchinson makes it sound as if menace is the point of the movement in his sculptures. But the two pieces at the gallery didn’t really bear this out. Sliding Blue, a large rectangular solid with a congruent slab floating on top of it, as though sliced free from it and rendered frictionless, has a simple minimal sort of geometry; although it is very big, its powder blue color takes away the threatening quality of the floating slab. This piece is much more touched with fantasy than its severe geometry would suggest. With the languor of its gliding movement, it is like an immovable object entertaining a dream of mobility. It has much more in common with the wobbling rocks in the Old West landscape at Disneyland than with, say, the menacing tics of Pol Bury’s much smaller works.

Similarly, the other piece, Pumper, which has a long shaft floating horizontally through the length of an open-sided trapezoidal solid, is as much like something which sticks its tongue out at you as like a nightmarish sexual battering ram. Unfortunately, it is the fantasy aspect of these pieces which also keeps them from looking like serious sculpture.

Kenneth Baker