new-york

Mary Carlson

Bill Maynes Gallery

Startlingly fresh, Mary Carlson’s exhibition was a small miracle of the suspension of disbelief: a garden of memory transplanted into real time and space. Spindly trees and weeds carved of wood sprouted from the cement floor. Concrete deer regarded the viewer with wary alertness. Singing with color, nearly forty porcelain birds perched on a shelf (as on a wire) that ran along the perimeter of one room. These, among other sculptures and one drawing, all work from the past two years, were arranged sparsely, leaving the spacious gallery less than wholly transformed, in a state between waking and dreaming, like Max’s bedroom undergoing its metamorphosis in Where the Wild Things Are.

This spectacle was especially surprising compared to Carlson’s impressive but much more confined 1996 show, in which sculptures of upholstered furniture with inviting arms and impossibly narrow seats crowded the

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