new-york

Enrico David, Light Days, 2012, polystyrene, polyurethane foam, copper, tissue paper, watercolor, bone, 67 x 80 3/4 x 15 3/4". Michael Werner Gallery.

Enrico David

Michael Werner Gallery/New Museum

#image 6#

The body is supposed to decay. It’s supposed to ooze, deliquesce, attract carnivorous insects, and unto dust return. A sculpture in Enrico David’s exhibition at Michael Werner imagines what happens when it doesn’t. Bog-Piper, 2012, takes the form of a massive nerve ending—a dendrite the size of a room—that has petrified rather than putrefied, hardened into a brittle, blackened fossil. A synecdoche for the human form, the nerve’s tendrils, made from copper wire covered with painted tissue paper, bunch together to form a stem, which rises off the ground and terminates in a papier-mâché bulb. Here, one can barely make out the contours of a face, its mouth agape in a ghastly howl.

Throughout his two coinciding exhibitions in New York this spring—at the New Museum and at Michael Werner—David presented sculptures, drawings, and paintings that refract the body through

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the Summer 2012 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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