New York

Jared Bark

Holly Solomon Gallery

People who live in matchstick houses shouldn’t throw flames. Jared Bark does. His recent exhibition shows a continued interest in dwellings, although these new depictions are strikingly different in scale and tone from his last. What most accurately could be called collages and constructions made up the show: matchsticks mounted on blackboard slates, matchstick houses, drawings on embossed paper.

Menace is the dominant tone. Fragile matchstick constructions have been lit and extinguished, leaving a charred, sulphur residue and the wake of flames. He plays with matches, he gets burned, the matchstick homes threaten to go up in smoke. An eerie, childlike quality lurks in this work, that of the model child suddenly exhibiting a suppressed pathology: visiting the show is like babysitting for the Bad Seed. One particularly chilling Burning House has a schoolboy’s blackboard with matches mounted

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