Among the others on view here, Hannah Barnes’s paintings give the optical experience a nifty spin, but their muscles are more concentrated in form and arrangement than content. I was very impressed by Gina Adams’s “Survival/Zhaabwiiwin” series, a cluster of animal hides and handcrafted nylon tents erected on their sides and thus inaccessible. They’d be more effective in a larger setting, but their themes of disutility and forced ornamentalism are nonetheless useful questions about cultural hybridity. Of Rebecca Bennett Duke’s work, all of which seem to translate natural materials into a fictional realm, a mounted surface of cracked Douglas fir wood titled “Broken Hearts” is the most stimulating, a welcome nod toward the heart in this warm and cerebral show.

“ARDOR: 2013 ALUMNI BIENNIAL EXHIBITION” | through Oct 13 | ICA at MECA, 522 Congress St, Portland | 800.699.1509 | meca.edu

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