New York

Ben Gocker


There really is no single poem. These six words—taken from poet Jack Spicer—serve Ben Gocker well as the title and governing premise of his first solo show. As befits a Brooklyn librarian (with an MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop), Gocker produces installations, drawings, and wall-mounted sculptures that are heavy on text. Following Spicer, Gocker willfully—and often playfully—circumvents autonomy; mutability, adjacency, and contingency suggest themselves instead, with works relating self-evidently to those around them. The tondo format of the plaster Untitled (color wheels), 2010, a trio of colored pencil–drawn pie charts, each cycling through the rainbow spectrum, repeats those of the empty Gold Wheel, 2010, and the handless Untitled (clock), 2010. Names, 2010, likewise features a plaster circle, this time covered by a vibrant field of densely nestled names (

to keep reading

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

Not registered for 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 ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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