New York

David Von Schlegell

Pace Gallery

Ranging from an architecture of intimacy to monumental construction, four recent sculpture shows offered variations on a theme of the built form. Gleaming white Minimal pieces revealed David Von Schlegell’s straightforward love of pure structure while Beverly Pepper’s Amphisculpture brought sculptural architecture outdoors on a grand scale. “Condensed Space” miniaturized architecture and personal expression, and pursuit of the personal touch pervaded Miriam Bloom’s vessels. Not united by one theme, but consistently overlapping, these separate shows juggled interrelated concerns from gallery to site and back again.

David Von Schlegell’s 1972 Storm King project was a masterwork of less-is-more sculpture; delicate and spare, a line of open-frame cubes on thin legs marched along the hillsides. His India Wharf project, also of 1972, placed repeated angled slabs in modular arrangements—the linear gone planar, but just as precise, with a similar economy of expression. His current small-scale indoor pieces combine the planar and the linear. The sculptures are altered wedges, elongated triangles from which curved sections of wall are cut away, changing perspectives and describing paths of movement between inside and out. As “lucid structure,” they embody a startling clarity. Finished in seamless gloss white paint, each piece is a self-enclosed, cool, brisk entity. Yet open areas give glimpses of hidden intimate spaces where the wide walls converge. Each piece changes dimension with each different observation point, with seemingly limitless built-in possibilities. One piece offers a straight rising slab at the end of a graceful half circle. At one moment seemingly two-dimensional, the piece expands into a wide outlined rectangle at the opposite end, where the tower slab changes to a thin sharp vertical line. The motion is built-in; so much is hidden and hinted from any one viewpoint that it’s impossible to remain planted in “front” of any piece. This work demands motion from the viewer, and in return becomes a movement—a visualization of Von Schlegell’s wish for “time made physical.”

Deborah Perlberg