new-york

Roxy Paine

Ronald Feldman Gallery

During my visit to Roxy Paine’s recent exhibition, I encountered a pair of visitors who, after looking at simulated dry rot framed on a wall and hyperreal tabletop tracts of grass, fungi, and poppies, were unsure whether the same artist was also responsible for the elaborate contraption in the rear gallery that was slowly secreting a stream of melted thermoplastic onto a conveyor belt, creating bloblike sculptural shapes the artist later numbered and signed. I assured them it was. But, they insisted, the replications of nature were so realistic and crafted; the white, irregularly shaped mounds, they implied, were not. Such distinctions are just what Paine addresses and attempts to undermine—to move beyond the uneasy frictions between the machine and the hand, the artificial and the natural, the unique and the reproduced. These relationships have been endlessly debated throughout the history

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