New York

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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