New York

“Tableaux”

Wave Hill

This year’s concept for the annual outdoor sculpture show on the Wave Hill estate was “Tableaux,” a galvanizing choice because of what it excludes. One: kinetic, ecological, and participatory art—because a tableau seems to require stasis and, as participants Robert Longo and Scott Burton both mentioned in their statements, frontality and framing, thereby discouraging physical interaction between environment, viewer, and piece. Two: abstract art—because of the premodern associations of the term.

Although these offerings neither actively engage the environment nor efface themselves in front of it, however, they do address themselves to their setting, either by referring to the aboriginal splendor of pre-Wave Hill America or by emphatically heightening the artificiality of the formally wrought 19th-century estate. Accordingly, their allusions tend to be either ritualistic or literary.

Of the

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