The Qualities Depend on Other Qualities: Gedi Sibony, NYT
The New York Times
The Qualities Depend on Other Qualities
55 Chrystie Street
Lower East Side
By ROBERTA SMITH
An awkward outsize collage by Gedi Sibony cut a wide swath through “Colony,” an exhibition recently organized by Hudson Clearing in an empty TriBeCa loft. It was a long pathway of dovetailing jagged shapes of cheap carpet that progressed from color to black and white. It culminated in two even more jagged shapes, made of white pegboard partly swathed in black garbage bags. Hanging from columns, they resembled abstract scarecrows; in a previous life, the pegboards might have figured in a store display.
In his first solo show in New York, Mr. Sibony, a young artist who lives in New York, continues to develop a wry guerrilla formalism, cobbling together all sorts of discarded materials into coarse, sometimes freestanding collages and sculptures. One of the abstract scarecrows is present, hanging on the wall this time, and another piece climbs the wall in shards of contrasting carpet. But mostly there are door-size, sometimes two-sided collages whose elegant grittiness both honors and lampoons abstract art.
Mr. Sibony’s precedents, working backward, range from Rachel Harrison, Tony Feher and Jessica Stockholder to 1970′s Process Art, Richard Tuttle and maybe Helen Frankenthaler. But his work also evokes Pattern and Decoration, a less fashionable 70′s phenomenon, in its artisanal intimations of mosaic or flagstone flooring, textile patterns, plaid or latticework (inset with tinfoil).
There is also a great deal of drawing in the several ways that Mr. Sibony uses cutting: to make shapes, expose hidden surfaces or create silhouettes. Perception matters, especially in “A Perfectly Faithful Replica,” which includes a sharp, upright wedge of aluminum-painted wood and its shadow.
Mr. Sibony is hardly the only young artist whose abstraction parts company with the symmetrical repeating forms of Minimalism, but the title of his exhibition suggests a philosophical, even political position. Each of his works is a carefully orchestrated series of contrasts, of materials, colors and textures. Everything is connected; so is everyone.
Published: May 28, 2004