minneapolis

Nick Mauss, Concern, crush, desire (detail), 2011, cotton appliqué on velvet, brass door-knobs, door stoppers, 10' 11“ x 9' 7”.

Nick Mauss

Midway Contemporary Art

Nick Mauss, Concern, crush, desire (detail), 2011, cotton appliqué on velvet, brass door-knobs, door stoppers, 10' 11“ x 9' 7”.

Starting with AD, a mere syllable, followed by APPROACHED ONLY BY INTUITION AND PIECEMEAL, the second line of the card for Nick Mauss’s “Perforations” gave the first impression of the detachment that characterized his solo show in Minneapolis. The cropped line of text was taken from a book on the French painter Édouard Vuillard (1868–1940) and aptly pointed to the fractional understanding with which most viewers likely engaged this exhibition, as well as to the fragmented nature of the exhibition itself: two rooms featuring ethereal abstract drawings and a reverse slide projection separated by a reiteration of an antechamber at the Institut Guerlain in Paris—designed in the 1930s by Jean-Michel Frank to be made by stage designer Christian Bérard.

If in Mauss’s work surface meaning is fleeting, perhaps the content of this show was best read from the inside out, beginning with

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