new-york

Petah Coyne

Jack Shainman Gallery | West 20th Street

Petah Coyne’s mysterious sculptural objects have an immediacy and presence that at first sight obliterates thought: there’s a monumentality to these objects, a monolithic presence. The large, velvety-black, spun-metal objects hang from the ceiling like insects unwittingly embalmed in spiderwebs. Yet they are not just imposing or frightening, they’re beautiful too—dreadfully handsome works of seemingly supernatural craft.

Though constructed of industrial waste—shredded car metal—these works have an organic, animal presence. Indeed, their spun-sugar delicacy belies a frightening, ominous bulk; though their shapes suggest that they drift or spin lightly in midair, in fact they hang heavily, each suspended from a hangman’s noose of rope. For all the terror they should inspire, however, these objects impress us most with their elegance. It’s as if Death itself were to meet us mid-gallery decked

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