New York

Ken Lum

Nature Morte

For at least the past six years Ken Lum has concerned himself with a meditation on closure. His installations have consistently featured arrangements of modular sofas that look for all the world like the work of a paranoid interior decorator who’s decided to “circle the wagons”—that is, the seating is arranged in a perfect square, permitting no point of access. More recently Lum has been making signs out of nonsense words (wordlike letter combinations that belong to no language). In these, the graphic stylization cries out for a response that the absent “text” frustrates.

With its brusque collision of paranormal styles, Lum’s recent installation here could have passed for the display room of an eccentric but blasé signmaker. This time, the artist arranged his familiar modular seating in a U shape facing and abutting a large, wall-mounted mirror. While a mirror might ordinarily afford a

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the April 1988 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.