New York

Ronald Jones

Metro Pictures

In the Whitney Museum’s show “Mind Over Matter,” 1990, Ronald Jones’ crisp, deadpan redeployment of Minimalist stylistic conventions seemed to grant that movement a stay of extinction in exchange for its rematerialization of grim politico-historical events. The range of his work was as impressive as it was rare: from cool, cartographic indictments of formalist self-referentiality to tear jerking memorials in which Joseph Kosuth’s “Platonic” chair doubles as the electric chair of state-sponsored murder. In each instance, politicization takes place in the mode being critiqued, setting up a kind of narrative wherein the story of this coup d’état is told in the dialect of the previous regime.

Similarly, the six new sculptures exhibited here mischievously yoke together disparate, mainly 20th-century historical references—Malcolm X, Chernobyl, Jack Ruby’s bed—as well as motifs, such as a wooden

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