New York

Alice Aycock

John Weber Gallery

The more I try to figure out what Alice Aycock is up to the more frustrated I become. Her work seems filled with blind alleys and false leads, and, for me at least, it defies all attempts to get close to it. This, of course, may be precisely the effect Aycock is after, and if to frustrate, insult, irritate, and anger are her intentions—and there is some reason to believe they are—then she succeeds with me. That her work elicits such negative emotions, however, is not necessarily bad. Art that elicits any emotion is rare, and the best art is often like a slap across the face.

Pulling from 6,000 years of history, Aycock creates myths and then draws up architectural plans for buildings, complexes and cities that might almost function as stage sets for her dramas; sometimes she builds a few of the buildings. In her latest show, she exhibited two semiarchitectural wood constructions; plans,

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