Washington, DC

Ivan Navarro and Courtney Smith

G Fine Art

Sculptors Ivan Navarro (who also works in video) and Courtney Smith reconfigure common items—lightbulbs, usually fluorescent, in Navarro’s case and vintage furniture in Smith’s—to yield subtly totemic, mildly anarchistic structures that gingerly probe the border between useful and useless, order and disorder. Their joint exhibition “Remake” furthered their inquisitions, playing with the cultural values we assign to objects and historical events and examining the consequences of reuse.

Smith’s manipulated vintage dressers, bureaus, and cabinets recall the works of Doris Salcedo as well as, in their quirky mechanical innovativeness, nineteenth-century campaign furniture. However, hers fit a broader tradition of reuse, one in which materials, deliberately or not, create new artistic and cultural markers (think spolia in Rome: architectural elements salvaged for things like Cosmati floors). In

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the October 2008 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.