New York

Cosima von Bonin

Friedrich Petzel Gallery

As the diminutive ending of its title, “The Pierres at the Petzellette,” made clear, Cosima von Bonin’s third solo show at Petzel was meant to be intimate. Encountered in the anteroom of the gallery space, the forlorn twenty-inch-high Doorstop (Concrete Mushroom #1), 2007, which also resembles an enlarged pincushion, further emphasized this deliberate scaling down of mise-en-scène, since it signaled that the toadstool, one of the artist’s enduring sculptural motifs, might be less prominent in the exhibition. The encounter proved a striking counterbalance to the artist’s last outing at the gallery, in 2006, “Relax, It’s Only a Ghost,” an elaborate installation reprised wholesale in Documenta 12. By contrast, this more recent show parceled out an arrangement of eight works and resembled nothing so much as a showroom redaction of the artist’s output over the past three years.

Von Bonin’s play

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