New York

Larry Kurowski

El Pueblo Gallery

This laid-back neighborhood space has had high moments before. Last August saw a free art event here almost every night, and in May a select group, who will not soon forget their karma, saw the completely straight text of the medieval play Everyman performed with all sincerity in the garden. The installation of kinetic sculpture by Larry Kurowski was another high point. Nine large pieces made entirely of 1-by-2-inch pine boards and small, unconcealed rotary motors filled and activated the space extraordinarily.

The largest piece, called Movement Room, contains eight sets of eight motorized elements; all the sets are wired to the same timer box, though the eight elements within each group move independently. Each group expresses both its own esthetic and its relationship to and response to the others. The eight groups of movements are related inwardly and to one another in ways that suggest organic processes. Hesitant, asynchronous movements coexist with regular and assertive ones. Black bits of board, with elegant Roman numerals designating their electrical groupings, whip by everywhere in loose yet deliberate circles and arcs. Some are small, some large, some spin, some halt and stop, some start up only to stop immediately, some are barely able to move at all. Precise in their imprecision, these groupings express what the artist calls a “bounded randomness.” At their best they achieve something like the unpretentiousness of nature—of falling leaves, say. This was Kurowski’s first show, and a powerful one.

Thomas McEvilley