New York

Keith Edmier

Petzel Gallery | West 18th Street

From Farrah Fawcett to molten lava, sub-Freudian jokes about the progress of Keith Edmier’s fascinations come too easily to be funny. Still, the fact remains that his best-known work, from 2000–2002, is a marble nude of the actress and ’70s poster girl, and that the centerpiece of his recent show developed out of a three-year try at casting in molten rock. He actually went to Hawaii to study the stuff in its natural state, then figured out a process to produce and work it in a foundry. You wonder about the technology, not to mention the expense, involved in this artistic first, for a first I imagine it must be: sculpture cast, not carved, in stone. It is some kind of peculiar feat, but don’t let the Dubious Achievements people hear about it.

Art this elaborate in its means can alienate viewers, but Edmier’s is not a case of simple bloat. Many artists have redeemed excess by wallowing in

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