New York

Sig Rennels

OK Harris

Sig Rennels has worked his way up from inflatable cars, through inflatable semitrailers, to his latest production, an inflatable small aircraft. I always thought that the cars and the semitrailers ought to be parked in the street outside the gallery for maximum effect, but the airplane looks completely at home on a polished floor. Why that should be so I can’t quite say, except that the airplane looks even more like a tired dog than Rennels’ other pieces, and is lower in height than is usual for his work.

It’s his ability to turn machines into animals—I’m being serious when I attribute an element of dogginess to this piece—which confirms that Rennels’ work has almost nothing to do with Oldenburg and everything to do with Walt Disney. Whatever Oldenburg does to an object—when, for instance, he substitutes polished fingernails for the keys of a typewriter—it never ceases to be inanimate. In this, Oldenburg pursues “thingness” with a rigor that—compared to Rennels’ work—seems almost sedate. I doubt that Rennels draws with the mastery of Oldenburg, and I expect he could care less; Rennels has no respect, and good for him.

Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe