Rita McBride

Mai 36 Galerie / Annemarie Verna Galerie

In “Art and Objecthood,” Michael Fried discussed the “literalist” and the “theatrical” aspects of Minimalism. Over thirty years later, Rita McBride comes forth as if she had spontaneously engaged these objections and, with a lightly ironic undertone, taken them as her point of departure in works whose form often literally corresponds to industrial materials. In the Annemarie Verna Galerie, for instance, McBride showed a large construction that reminds one as much of a Donald Judd sculpture as it does of some kind of extravagant casing for a ventilating system on the roof of an industrial complex. Fashioned of copper sheets fitted over a steel frame, the piece, titled White Elephant, 1999, simultaneously evokes the impermanence of a stage set that can be quickly disassembled and the polished aura of a work of art not to be touched.

The show at the Mai 36 Galerie began with one of the legends

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