New York

George Rhoads

Ruth Siegel Gallery

One look at George Rhoads’ audio-kinetic sculptures and you know you’re in for the sort of treat a gallery visit rarely affords. These sculptures (some are powered by electricity) feature balls clattering down steel tracks through a series of chutes, loop-the-loops, basins, drums, gongs, and woks. In his first show in 13 years, Rhoads (who had a previous life as an abstract painter) approaches high culture via Hammacher Schlemmer and F. A. O. Schwarz.

As with the most ingenious toys, these works demonstrate the ability of a closed system to operate both by chance and logic—the path of each ball is determined as much by the independent actions of pendulums as by clearly routed systems. The randomness is highlighted by the sound patterns the sculptures subsequently create. There is no predetermined rhythm here despite the mechanical appearance.

One of the works can also function as a wall

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