new-york

Jonathan Pylypchuk

Petzel Gallery | West 18th Street

Jonathan Pylypchuk’s fourth solo exhibition at Friedrich Petzel Gallery was arguably his most far-reaching to date. Pylypchuk’s previous gallery outings have concentrated on diminutive, puppetlike characters fabricated from old clothes, bits of wood, and other items ticketed for the junk pile. And while these remained prominent at Petzel, the Canadian artist and former Royal Art Lodge member here provided his creatures with a gallery-spanning habitat of rickety wood. Once free-floating entities, Pylypchuk’s characters thereby became actors in a quasi-narrative diorama.

But despite its expansion in scale, Pylypchuk’s shabby, scatological work remains intentionally scrappy; ultimately, the addition of an architectural element only added to this effect. Protruding nails pointed this way and that, and slats of splintered wood could have been hammered just as precisely blindfolded—Pylypchuk is

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