Alice Aycock

John Weber Gallery

In this startlingly seductive show sculptures, drawings, and texts conspired to create an absurd parallel universe replete with desire and violence. Aycock’s work invoked a dizzying array of esoteric allusions, including references to the Hebrew Cabala and Max Planck’s theory of quantum physics. The three complex sculptures—two recent works and a “blade machine” from 1984—evoked amusement-park architecture, ancient astronomical devices, and alarmingly oversized pocket games and pinwheels. Together, all the pieces in the show meditated on our psychological investment in understanding the universe: in six of the seven ink drawings precisely drawn images of dance steps, battle plans, cities, and pictographs were splayed out against a background of constellations.

The incantatory texts, part of a continuing work of fiction integral to Aycock’s project, construct a heady quasi-narrative in which

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