new-york

Yolande McKay

S. Bitter-Larkin

Yolande McKay is an Los Angeles–based sculptor who incorporates overlooked everyday materials such as cement, soapscum, and rotting fruit into a sophisticated body of sculptural work. At first McKay’s heavy-looking oval basins, pseudo-scientific gadgets, and tableaux that seem to belong on display in a natural history or art museum, look rather institutional. On closer inspection, however, the apparent authority of each object is undermined by an inherent paradox. This is especially true of the basins, which recall sarcophagi in their imposing solidity. Sealed over with glass, and ostensibly empty save for the layers of brilliantly colored perpetually changing chemical oxides with which McKay has layered their inner surfaces, each basin bears a warning of sorts in block letters. Vitrification (all works 1990), bears the announcement “HERMETICALLY SEALED VITRIFICATION,” and Vitrol warns,

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