new-york

Joe Fig

Plus Ultra

Dollhouses are funny things. Introduced in northern Europe in the seventeenth century, they were originally used by rich women to manage their households, providing a virtual view of the premises. Later, they became more akin to little museums or cabinets of curiosities. More recently, they’ve become toys with an edge of macabre kitsch. Joe Fig’s recent sculpture borrows heavily from the dollhouse idiom, co-opting the God’s-eye perspective, the miniaturization, and the implication of a narrative (here, art historical), all played out on a tiny stage in a parallel world that mimics our own.

In the past, Fig has made painstakingly accurate models of artists’ studios—Constantin Brancusi’s, Willem de Kooning’s, Jackson Pollock’s—which included little artist figures, further stoking the dollhouse association. For his recent show at Plus Ultra, he narrowed his focus and mostly eschewed the dolls,

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