new-york

Michael Steiner

Marlborough Gallery and Goldowsky Gallery

Two of the sculptures in Michael Steiner’s show at Marlborough are very powerful, Betonica and Fleabane Marsh. Betonica, in Cor-ten, is the piece that derives most clearly from Steiner’s earlier work, such as the pieces in his last Marlborough show. Those earlier pieces, though they sat on the floor, never quite rested there; despite their rough look and undisguised material, they didn’t seem to be on the floor because they were heavy. There’s no doubt about Betonica, it’s an extremely heavy object, and the angled planes that give it a slight lift from the floor read as pictorial elements rather than literal ones because they are denying so much weight. The bulk of the sculpture uses two pairs of irregular right-angled planes which have an interface and form a boxlike space open at either end and closed over the top. On top of the box shape rests a fairly thick irregular plane of steel

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