Liz Magor, Closet (fur) (detail), 2018, polyester film, paper, cardboard, fur coats, stuffed animal, 30 × 33 1⁄4 × 51 3⁄4".

Liz Magor

Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts

A gesture that recurs in Liz Magor’s recent work is the needy and desperate embrace—the full-bodied attachment of a subject to an object of comfort. In her 2017–18 show at Andrew Kreps Gallery in New York, the hybrid stuffed animals of Oilmen’s Bonspiel (a kitty-faced monkey) and Pembina (a pig-headed teddy bear), both 2017, each hugged a heavy knit sweater around the waist. More recently, at Harvard University’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, a creature the size of a Beanie Baby grasped the tails of a soft coat in Closet (fur), 2018, while silicone casts of larger plush beasties held onto garment bags in her “Delivery” series, 2018, which hung from the ceiling.

The clinginess felt precious, and it hovered, like the smell of nervous sweat, around the salvaged coats, shoes, textiles, and other items that make up Magor’s work. Even the sculptures that were not cuddled—such as Freestyle

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