New York

“Living Inside the Grid”

New Museum

By now, the uses and abuses of the grid are well known and well theorized. That simple network of verticals and horizontals is thoroughly modern in concept and perhaps as far from nature as you can get. It’s as vulnerable to technological metaphors as it is receptive to spiritual ones, which is why Mondrian liked it so much. Having spawned innumerable canvases and reams and reams of artspeak, the grid can be employed to suggest the limitless—or to delineate a structure of tight control.

In “Living Inside the Grid,” curator Dan Cameron’s thematic emphasis is on the “inhabited grid.” Though this is supposed to imply more than the built environment, architectural structures and domestic spaces receive the most attention. The museum’s own lobby, for instance, seems to have been enlarged by the play of light from the shiny panels making up Ana Maria Tavares’s Station 2003, 2002–2003. Glass

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