New York

Linda Stojak

Stephen Haller Gallery

For her second solo show, Linda Stojak relied heavily on the redoubtable image of the crucifix to embody a haunted and private martyrology. At a distance, her somber, dangling, androgynous torsos, bobbing “heads,” and helpless limbs look as if they were burned into their scuffed, bone-colored grounds with a brand just beginning to cool; up close, they communicate an arresting sense-memory of a deep personal loss that just won’t let go.

Stojak channels this melancholia into a blessedly simple, if not entirely welcome, cathartic ritual of repetition. Her waxy layered surfaces, some with small papier-maché constructions, seek a life beyond grief and invoke a primal vitality equal to the emotive qualities of her silhouetted body parts. However, because Stojak makes her esthetic bed with figurative choices that replicate Kiki Smith’s more powerful physical imagery—albeit with a more metaphysical

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