new-york

Anne Chu

303 Gallery

Amid the sea of slick objects in West Chelsea, Anne Chu’s larger-than-life puppet sculptures come across as shockingly raw and old-fashioned. But craftsmen of the past would never have constructed objects in this way, leaving things slightly unfinished and full of clues as to their making. Pure anachronism, you might think—but their fluidity of reference implies a global and chronological breadth that’s very contemporary. These figures function like fissures between historical epochs and aesthetic categories, a mechanism fundamental to the way they work.

In the eight sculptures on view, Chu alluded lightly to a variety of sources: from commedia dell’arte to Velázquez, Edgar Allan Poe to ancient Chinese art, animation to ethnographic wood carving. In the front gallery, three awkward figures stood on a platform, with strings from marionette crosses wired to the ceiling attached (uselessly)

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the February 2004 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.