New York

Natalie Bookchin

Franklin Furnace

Inspired by a nostalgia for domesticity, Natalie Bookchin’s exhibition, entitled “Playing House,” evokes children’s games as well as traditional handcrafted artifacts, such as embroidered samplers, to relay disquieting messages about violent street crime, drug use, political corruption, and personal deception.

In False Positive (Daisy) a work that incorporates petals from a flower used in a “he-loves-me-he-loves-me-not” game, 23 brilliant-red rectangles, alternately labeled positive and negative, each frame a petal. Stretched along the wall in a uniform, horizontal row, the arrangement constitutes a skeptical meditation on an old game of chance. The petals are isolated, altered specimens—the ensemble a cold, calculated depiction of the gamble love has become in this health crisis.

Another grouping, of 26 small, black fabric samplers, shows two figures outlined in white thread variously

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