The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2021

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JUL-AUG 2021 Issue
The Miraculous The Miraculous: New York

63. (Various locations)

An artist who starts off as a painter finds herself thinking more and more about the space in front of the wall than about the surface of the canvas. Moving to New York after grad school she is unable to afford a studio and must make her work in a small apartment. Space is at a premium: “I had no desire to make objects and I had no place to store them,” she later recalls. She begins making “furniture-scale” assemblages with objects around her apartment, castoffs she salvages from the streets and items from hardware stores and thrift shops. Once she starts exhibiting her work, its scale grows quickly and Home Depot, Goodwill, Costco become her go-to sources. Driven by a love of color and a quest for emotional resonance, she incorporates a dizzying array of everyday stuff into her work. Often just the lists of materials, singly banal but collectively jarring, are enough to set one’s mind thinking in new ways:


Made of Two Elements (1999)

wood
cloth
clothes line
wire mesh
oil
enamel and acrylic paint
three green light bulbs and light fixture
Styrofoam
carpet
newspaper
magazines
glue
metal
street lamp shade
hardware


Two Frames (2007)

Pink plastic
pink children’s chair
fake fur
miscellaneous plastic parts
vinyl
halogen light and fixture
weight
bracket
cable
extension cord
black garbage bag
yarn
beads
acrylic and oil paint
wooden drawer
metal frame


Sex in The Office (2007)

plywood
plastic floor liner
acrylic, oil and spray paint
glass
2 pieces of stucco-finished table base
book shelf
4 metal table legs
frame and Plexiglas
yarn
plasticine
zip ties
thread
shells
spray paint
rubber car mat
tape
canvas from oil painting


(Jessica Stockholder)

Contributor

Raphael Rubinstein

Raphael Rubinstein is the author of The Miraculous (Paper Monument, 2014) and A Geniza (Granary Books, 2015). He is currently writing a book about the Jewish-Egyptian writer Edmond Jabès. A Professor of Critical Studies at the University of Houston School of Art, he divides his time between Houston and New York.

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The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2021

All Issues