new-york

Rob Fischer

Cohan and Leslie

Despite the widespread reverence among younger artists for Robert Smithson’s art and writing, it’s rare to encounter someone who wears his mantle as snugly as Rob Fischer. The notion of entropy (technically a measure of the disorder that exists in a system), a Smithson buzzword, is used frequently in descriptions of Fischer’s project. But in this show the artist hewed even closer to another Smithsonian concept, that of excavation.

Visitors to Cohan and Leslie were greeted by Altar (all works 2004–2005), a twenty-four-foot rusted fabricated dumpster turned on its end to create a threshold or portal. Panels from the sides of the dumpster were removed and replaced with mirrors, a favorite Smithson material. Beyond this was Summary (Goodyear Ecology), an irrigated steel trough containing a tire track in wet dirt, complete with delicate blades of grass “excavated” from the artist’s studio’s

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