new-york

Isa Genzken

Jack Shainman Gallery | West 20th Street

Isa Genzken’s architectonic sculptures waver between emerging forms and decomposing rubble. Cast concrete is the artist’s primary medium. However, the medium’s association with strength and durability is countered by Genzken’s crude handling of the sculptures’ surfaces. In almost every work one sees the gravel aggregate inside the cement exposed at eroding corners and chipped edges. Similarly, the internal wire armature often emerges from the mottled surface to suggest a crumbling structure.

Kirche (Church, 1989) is typical of Genzken’s sculpture. A primary concrete structure in the form of a rectangular edifice sits atop a welded wrought-iron stand. From afar this mass appears to be a solid block of gray stone. However, closer inspection reveals that it is composed of walls, each fabricated in horizontal layers of concrete strata. The layers are stacked vertically, laid one upon the other

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