new-york

Shirley Tse

Murray Guy

Like a diligent student of The Graduate, Shirley Tse has made her career in plastics, demarcating with uncommon zeal (and amid sporadic references to Martin Heidegger and Gilles Deleuze) an artistic practice defined less by a particular aesthetic agenda and more by consistent exploitation of her materials. The past few years have seen Tse building sculptures carved with cantilevered reliefs and constructing flat vinyl “paintings” à la Lucio Fontana. “Waiting . . . ,” the artist’s recent solo show at Murray Guy—her fourth there—reasserted her allegiance to Robert Smithson and the legacy of his Earthworks. Here, though, this patrimony was articulated along a political axis that seemed decidedly un-Smithsonian in its engagement with immediate geopolitical tensions.

Shortly after the US presidential elections in November 2004, the Hong Kong–born, Los Angeles–based artist took a trip to Iceland,

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