chicago

Andrew Lord

Donald Young Gallery

One window onto the awful weight of history is the similarly awful weight of art history. Andrew Lord’s two recent series of plaster and beeswax sculptures are both elegant and elegiac in this respect, assertions of self achieved via an immersion in selected obscurities of our shared cultural traditions and an attendant insistence on the palpability of his own body.

Culture first—Lord’s ongoing series “Second Avenue” (all works 2007), named in part for a poem by Frank O’Hara, is a mannered journey through the ancient vase shapes that have interested the artist for some time. Completely nonfunctional, without cavity or aperture, his vessels have been reduced to visual essences, as if the allusive summoning of the shape of a pre-Columbian pot as a historical sign were enough, a testament to the authority of the past that expresses the vacuity of the present, a determined holding of the old

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