new-york

Mathieu Mercier

Spencer Brownstone Gallery

Mathieu Mercier’s AAA, 2002, a backlit wall-mounted sign in which the title’s three letters become smaller from left to right, looks like the scream of a cartoon character plunging off a cliff. The text’s off-kilter font is a superimposition of two opposing styles: the hard-edged geometry characteristic of Theo van Doesburg and a flowing, fanciful script developed by New York typographer Edward Benguiat in the ’70s. A strategically contrived hybrid of design philosophies, AAA is a succinct introduction to this young Parisian’s practice and an appropriate piece to kick off his first solo show in New York.

In a looped digital video, Red and Blue Blast, 2002, the computer-generated image of a Rietvald chair glides in silently from stage right, only to burst suddenly into pieces as it nears the center of the screen. The conceit is childishly simple but immediately appealing (British viewers

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