“Condensed Space”

Nassau County Museum Of Fine Arts

There are a number of other artists working similarly close to their materials, affecting thick sloppy surfaces with the care of a master. One of these is George Grant, who slaps concrete on his Houses of Torment so it oozes between bricks and wood like mud. His houses in the “Condensed Space” exhibition contrast innocence with implications of morbidity. Painted near-white or candyland pastels, a single gaping black hole acts as doorway to each small house—the one opening allowed. Looking like the neighborhood haunted house they suggest scenes of torture or imprisonment. Rejecting slickness, these coarsely satiric dwellings might be the dollhouses of a perverse child.

Equally malevolent, Ira Joel Haber’s scarred and scorched houses slap society in the face, presenting a scathing picture of neglect or helplessness; beloved split-levels melted and charred, forests laid low in the aftermath

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