new-york

John Lekay

Cohen Gallery

John LeKay’s recent two-part exhibition “The Separation of Church and State” tried to make the viewer confront issues that are either taboo or “socially embarrassing”: religion, homelessness, race, disability, bodily functions, and domestic violence. His sculptural amalgamations are self-contained tableaux composed of objects that are either useless, broken, or just plain garbage.

The two sculptures, shown in the first part of the exhibition, appropriate Christian iconography. The Separation of Church and State, 1991–93, takes the shape of a cruciform over a stained piece of carpeting. At the center a wheelchair sits on top of a Raggedy Ann & Andy mattress with Guns N’ Roses playing from a tape recorder on the seat. Mops, brooms, curtain rods, and a charred piece of wood form the axis of the cross connecting the central image to four collections of household junk: an open and filthy kitchen

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