new-york

John Duff

Knoedler & Company

The works in New York–based artist John Duff’s recent exhibition “Designed with You in Mind: Various Sculptures, Variously Entailed” are constructed according to the basic principles of geometry. Inclined Form, 2001, is a plaster tetrahedron whose four triangular sides are each paired with a rectangle of steel rods, which together create a sort of cage for the inner structure (the shape of the sculpture was “entailed,” or determined, by this basic formula). Formally, the procedure could not be simpler, but the visual mystery occasioned within such transparency is captivating. As the viewer moves around Inclined Form, the tetrahedron appears both dynamic and poised; from certain perspectives it’s difficult to believe that the interior form is symmetrical. In spite of the visual austerity of the materials, the work feels alive—an abstract spider, legs bundled about itself.

If high modernism’s

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