New York

Alice Adams

55 Mercer Gallery

Alice Adams’s works look like bare sections of a plaster wall’s internal structure, made as they are from strips of lath and supporting beams. The idea is to make sculpture by representing, recreating excerpts from preexisting (but by now somewhat outmoded) tectonic systems. To my mind, art that usurps the technics of architecture also references its circumstances; the art can relay something about the way buildings are conceived, built, used, and destroyed. Adams’s work doesn’t, or, at least she takes the clear high road. Her pieces are clean and insular, woodwork in the nude, the product of a carpenter’s praxis geared up to make sculptural sense.

Vault is a modular floor piece. The module is a quadripartite rib-vault, resting on the floor at the spring point of its arches, and joined at these points of contact with the ground by two half-vaults. This form has a venerable lineage in masonry

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.