new-york

Not Vital

Sperone Westwater

A minimalist fabulist you might call him: In most of the sculpture here, the Swiss artist Not Vital combines Euclidean geometries with children’s-book contents. Camel, 2004, comprises sixteen sealed silver spheres, each nine inches in diameter, and each, we are told, containing a part of a camel. The animal’s body was laid out to dry in the sun, and shrank; so these sixteen globes hold the whole thing. 50 Snowballs, 2001, is fifty more spheres, this time in clear Murano glass with a frosted-glass core—crystal cases for apparently arctic objects. And the most fairy-tale piece of all, Bremer Stadtmusikanten (Bremen Town Musicians), 2004, actually turns on a story of the Brothers Grimm: Each of four rectangular silver boxes stacked on a high plywood dais, we once again are told, holds the dried remains of one of the animals in the tale—a donkey, a dog, a cat, and a cock. Where the spheres in

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