New York

Nancy Davidson

Richard Anderson Fine Arts

The first thing about Nancy Davidson’s new sculptures is that they are large—not in the way something architectural is large, despite their bigger-than-life scale, but more the way a person can be. Even the relatively smaller pieces, which Davidson calls “ Girl Guides,” 1994–95, have the overfed look of chubby teenagers. If you were to think of abstract Boteros, you’d be on the right track. And as with Botero, the scent of kitsch is in the air. These rotund, anthropomorphic masses, suspended from the ceiling or resting on beanbag-chair “pedestals,” are less threatening than comically seductive. Excess seems to equal a promise of comfort, one that is quite literally inflated: these colorful sculptures are nothing but oversized balloons, empty but for gas under pressure, and dolled up in the most deliciously absurd flounces, frills, and garters. These adornments not only embellish but also

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