philadelphia

Robert Younger

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

One of the reasons why these props function so well as sculpture (apart from an innate integrity) is that they have been objectified, ceased to function as contributors to a setting. Physically separated (although the toasters are grouped together, as are the houses), given breathing space—the chair has even been hung on the wall—their isolation serves to help make them emblematic. As Roberta Smith points out, however, the solitary shape(s) on a unified field to which this is analogous was only half the story of the Whitney presentation. The other half, featuring “Jenny, Zucker, Bartlett, and to some extent Hurson,” involved a certain “all-overness of surface.” If Robert Younger is a New Image sculptor, he must be of the latter sort. His rendering is an appropriately angular paradigmatic shorthand. The 1978 “equilateral men,” for instance, have triangular heads with four holes for features

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