Robin Collyer

Carmen Lamanna Gallery

As time goes by, it’s the scale of Robin Collyer’s sculpture that seems contentious. His work is strangely “between size” in the conventional sense: too big to be anything other than awkward, yet too small to seem really ambitious. It tries hard—but not too hard—in realizing itself as a “presence” in the room. It’s as if the scale, treading between this little thing and that grand thing, incorporated a lazy yawn.

This lazy yawn is a masterful touch. Careless and indulgent, self-deprecating, even humble, it sets exactly the right mood for engaging Collyer’s subject matter, which extends to consumerism, the media kingdom, and readymade art. Such a list imputes a touch more coherence than the work itself possesses, but then this is just another masterful touch. Almost since his first show in the early ’70s, it seems that his point has been to make art that is on the other side of “coherence”

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 Summer 1988 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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