Jeanette Jacobs's brightly hued, pieced, and appliquéd cotton Civil Rights quilt spells out a rallying cry: "If lesbian & gay people are given civil rights then everyone will want them!" Suzanna Strong installs a couple of dozen long, pointy red velvet tongues curling out from a gallery wall. They call to mind snakes, devils, and the band Kiss, and are campy fun. More unsettling is Delia Kovac's series, Semi-Self Portrait As a Ski Mask: four paintings of lumpy heads with freaked-out or dull eyes and gross toothy mouths, and Lauren Kalman's Blooms, Efflorescence and Other Dermatological Embellishments (Cystic Acne, Chest), which features paired photos of a woman's arm and back bejeweled with tiny beads on tiny pins stuck into her flesh. Nothing sticks in your head like S&M jewelry inspired by skin problems.

Mara Trachtenberg presents a photo of a pair of orange and purple giraffes sporting pearl necklaces and preening on pedestals rising from a reflecting pool in a formal garden, under a rainbow. It's from her A Decadent World series of elaborately decorated sugar creatures and formal topiary gardens constructed with cake decorating techniques. The medium-format, digitally-enhanced photos look like outtakes from some entrancingly bizarre Claymation film. "In light of our current environmental crisis," Trachtenberg writes, "A Decadent World explores the ways in which human culture uses, needs, abuses and co-opts nature." That environmental critique doesn't really register, but there's potential here. The project calls out for more — more sugary decoration, more symbolic narratives, more, more, more!

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: Museum And Gallery , University of Rhode Island, Delia Kovac, feminism,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   PERFECTLY HUMAN  |  April 16, 2014
    Sometimes I think you can understand everything about our society today by considering it through two themes — the perfection of technology versus the messily human handmade.
  •   THE LAST FRONTIER  |  April 02, 2014
    They say that temperatures in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica haven’t been above freezing in millennia.
  •   ASSURED ABSTRACTIONS  |  March 19, 2014
    “The golden age of abstraction is right now,” ARTnews informed me last spring.
  •   COMMON GROUND  |  March 12, 2014
    “I did everything in the world to keep this from happening,” exclaims the assistant to the rich man in Kerry Tribe’s There Will Be ___ _.
  •   LOCAL LUMINARIES  |  March 05, 2014
    Reenacting a childhood photo, portraits of fabulous old ladies, and dollhouse meditations on architecture are among the artworks featured in the “2014 RISCA Fellowship Exhibition.”

 See all articles by: GREG COOK