Roman Ondak, Aeon, 2019, wood, metal, paint, 10' 8“ × 2' 7 1⁄2” × 2' 7 1⁄2".

Roman Ondak, Aeon, 2019, wood, metal, paint, 10' 8“ × 2' 7 1⁄2” × 2' 7 1⁄2".

Roman Ondak

Esther Schipper

Many of Roman Ondak’s artworks over the past two decades have relied, explicitly or implicitly, on the help of his audience. Think of Measuring the Universe, 2007, in which visitors mark their height on a gallery wall, or Good Feelings in Good Times, 2003, a performative, volunteer-filled queue. But the Slovak artist has also alternated such ephemeral proposals with sculptures, installations, photographs, and films, and his first show with Esther Schipper—a commercial powerhouse on the Berlin art scene—was on the face of it a full pivot to objecthood, as well as a reminder that the heyday of relational art lies in the past. “Perfect Society,” in which we were nowhere invited to register our presence, was an airily composed roomful occupied mostly by discrete sculptures rooted in repurposed, often architecture-derived, everyday materials but often feeling conspicuously elegant. Market forces

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