new-york

Alain Kirili

Sonnabend Gallery

Eight square iron poles by Alain Kirili stand in the gallery. They are not ordered as a group nor do they conform to any one scale. Two tower above us; the rest stand below. The two tall ones, bare but for a notch near the top, are like markers with nothing to mark. Set on bases—residual pedestals—they are indirectly related to public sculpture, sculpture that commemorates a historically-important person or place. And yet the poles refer to nothing—they seem as pure and homeless as any modern sculpture.

If the tall poles are markers without sites, the short ones are figures without human form. However, just as sites are implied by the bases on which the tall poles sit, the human body is suggested by the curves and clefts of the short poles. This is not pure sculpture so much as sculpture pared of texture and context—they are naked, not nude. But the reduction has its own meaning. Just as

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