New York

Simon Starling

Casey Kaplan

Simon Starling’s recent installation looked back at the modernist attempt to dissolve the barriers between art and the environment while recasting modernism itself as a cage. A well-orchestrated hybrid of disciplines and references, the work fell into the categories of painting, sculpture, industrial design, architecture, and music without fitting into any of these.

The show, titled “Inverted Retrograde Theme, USA,” was arranged in two parts. Hanging at eye level near the entrance were three lamps with stacked red, white, blue, and green metal shades, based on Paul Henningsen’s ’50s pendant lighting designs. Beyond the lowered lamps, in the main gallery, two large plywood architectural models of modernist homes with metal grates covering the windows were pressed to the ceiling by bare tree branches braced against the floor. The models appeared slightly flattened from being pushed upward.

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