london

Renee So, Drunken Bellarmine, 2012, wool, acrylic, oak-tray frame, 68 1/2 x 48 7/8 x 2 3/8".

Renee So

Kate MacGarry

Renee So, Drunken Bellarmine, 2012, wool, acrylic, oak-tray frame, 68 1/2 x 48 7/8 x 2 3/8".

Until now, you may have given little thought to Assyrian beards. In fact, they are remarkable things, with tiers of spiral-like black curls perfectly aligned to produce an almost architectural construction with which to adorn the face of the Mesopotamian male. Renee So has evidently given considerable thought to the contours of Assyrian facial hair, along with other well-selected highlights in the history of human self-design: In the artist’s tabletop-size ceramic sculptures, a variation on this beard is doubled and formed from a repeated pattern of semispheres glistening in delectable metallic glazes. In other sculptures and knitted panel pictures, So invents a uniquely stylized yet simple, almost cartoonlike bearded figure, repeated like a motif across every work. This character has strong, almond-shaped eyes, and on his head he wears a floppy sixteenth-century Dutch black hat

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