New York

Jane South

Spencer Brownstone Gallery

My initial impulse on seeing the nine sculptural assemblages in Jane South’s recent exhibition at Spencer Brownstone Gallery was a juvenile one: I wanted to touch them. The checklist described the objects on view as made of cut paper and mixed media, and, with the exception of one floor-bound structure, each contained elements that cantilevered out from the wall on dainty paper hooks anchored by straight pins. But the constructions’ size (up to fourteen feet wide), color (mainly industrial grays and deep, metallic reds), and iconography (nonspecific, but undeniably machinelike) lend them a beguiling sturdiness that tempts one to verify their load-bearing ability. Then a brief, faint draft in the gallery caused a drum-shaped appendage on Untitled (Small Wheeled Red), 2006, to flutter slightly, revealing these sculptures to be every bit as fragile as South’s medium would suggest.

South is

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