New York

Claude Simard

Jack Shainman Gallery | West 20th Street

Dominating Claude Simard’s installation, a string of letters cascaded down one wall of the exhibition space. Cut from cotton, stuffed, stitched, and strung like fish on a line, they were hung in so many layers that it was difficult to decipher the individual names they spelled. This overwhelming cacophony was meant to evoke a particular place—a small French Canadian village called Larouche, from which this New York–based artist hails—through the names of its denizens. Simard also portrayed his hometown in photographs of its inhabitants in moments of leisure and of local landmarks, such as the one depicted in Furniture Store (all works 1995).

Filling out the image of this provincial town, where day-to-day life revolves around Catholicism, hunting, the lumber industry, and a fetish for appliances, Simard’s installation included a suite of wooden sculptures: a giant, wooden pistol freshly

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