New York

Mary Lum

Frederieke Taylor Gallery

The subject of Mary Lum’s exhibition was urban space and time, and the materials of choice were comic books—cut neatly and precisely into strips, slivers, and squares and collaged onto paper, or rendered in paint on panels or, in a wall installation, around the gallery. Like an urban landscape, the comic is an instrument of compression: In the former, wildly diverse lives and cultures are organized by buildings within blocks—by grids within grids—and in the latter neat rows of squares create a shorthand for movement and the passage of time. Lum shatters the order of both, creating, instead, a sense of vertiginous heterogeneity.

The combination turns out to be breathtaking, full of the movement of time and space collapsing and then opening up again like an accordion. The artist’s theme, according to a printed statement, is “the continual destruction and construction of urban space; the way

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