New York

Sylvia Stone

Andre Emmerich Gallery, Downtown

Sylvia Stone's previously made simple arrangements of lightly tinted plexiglass: half-circles, triangles, rectangles, all usually upright and intersecting. Things have gotten a lot more complicated; Stone's arrangements involve many more elements, arranged more casually, often stacked on top of each other. Stone has also increased the kinds of materials she is working with: mirrors, light and dark smoked, clear, green-tinted and amber plexiglass. These look like the last word, maybe Bloomingdale's, in Process art; like large unassembled jewelry boxes. They seem at first more casual in arrangement than they are; Stone combines and alternates her materials with fairly dependable near-symmetry. The most substantial part of one piece, for example, is four layers mirror, dark-smoked plexi, mirror, light-smoked plexi in different lengths. Top center is a perpendicular plane of green-tinted plexiglass. Parallel to this at the edge is a double layer: dark-smoked backed by green-tinted plexiglass. Another plane of green-tinted angles out from one end of the first pair forming a V which is topped by a second plane of smoked plexiglass. It all works out very neatly. The piece has the unfortunate title of Grand Illusion.

Stone is very dependent on large size for whatever seriousness she manages to pull off. Without size, her sensibility would come across as light and decorative. But, wisely, she kept her previous work sparse; the planes intersected across vast open areas and their overlapping created a strange, elusive space. Now Stone's materials are ponderous and she avoids decorativeness by turning it into conspicuous consumption. Her arrangements, particularly in the largest piece, are crammed, horizontal and opaque; the space and transparency are obliterated by the weight of all this dumb, gaudy stuff.

Roberta Smith