new-york

Michael Ashkin

Andrea Rosen Gallery

For a number of years Michael Ashkin has been producing tabletop tableaux that depict distinctive aspects of the contemporary American landscape: nearly barren postindustrial sites, stretches of desolate highway, and other fringe areas. These precise dioramas comprise terrains fashioned from plaster, cement, dirt, salt, and other substances, and bodies of water of poured Envirotex, a resinlike liquid that hardens to a slightly translucent coat. The occasional car, power line, and spigot might be purchased from hobby shops, and everything is constructed to exacting scale. Ashkin’s style has become far more spare in the works recently on view, as have his titles: the lyrical, narrative allusion of 1993’s Far North, over Uncharted Shallows, He Began a Slow, Peaceful Descent, for example, has been replaced by the simplicity of numbers. Ashkin’s use of this convention is a sign of his turn

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the Summer 1998 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.