Los Angeles

Peter Zecher

Nicholas Wilder Gallery

Peter Zecher, to the contrary, is digging in as “the cardboard guy”––the flyer is a small slab of the stuff, and the gallery is loaded to the gunwales with life-height natural-hued modern totems, and 3-D X’s, coated with various substances (beverage stains, bright enamel, or glitter); on the latter, the butt ends are left raw to demonstrate the material, like those cutaway piston engines in the auto show. It’s like Lloyd Hamrol done by Frank Gehry (who proved that functional/beautiful furniture could be made from this ephemeral/banal material, whereas Zecher’s out to lend it the “art” aura). All of which amounts to a tin idea—except for the impressive craft and obsessive labor—like Chamberlain’s gaudy crumpled paper globes without the mitigating humor. It’s the installation, in fact, which almost pulls it off—so crazily against the grain you might be convinced Zecher is exhaustingly at work in the storage room, turning out still more Gothic cardboard goodies. Almost.

––Peter Plagens