Children’s playgrounds have long been characterized by a combination of artificial materials, intense colors, and oversize geometric forms, making them natural subjects for an artist interested in the flows of influence among Minimalist sculpture, civic architecture, and social anthropology. Canadian Corin Sworn, who made her New York debut at ZieherSmith recently, begins with just such a preoccupation but narrows her focus still further. Sworn concentrates on structures built in the late 1960s, when an intensified curiosity about the lasting significance of early human development coincided with emergent construction techniques to produce an extraordinary array of purportedly liberating—but in fact highly ordered—recreational environments.
Sworn renders examples of still-futuristic-looking playgrounds from Europe, Japan, and the United States as small, naturalistic graphite drawings,
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