FRONT DESK APPARATUS
La Collectionneuse reviewed by NY Times
There is a lot going on in and among the works in Carissa Rodriguez’s surgically precise New York gallery debut. The more you think about them, the busier it all becomes.
Ms. Rodriguez is a latter-day Conceptual artist with a preference for physical perfection similar to appropriationist precursors like Sherrie Levine, Louise Lawler and Sarah Charlesworth. Her efforts here center on the business, display and collection of art; different modes of site-specificity; and the circle, or cylinder, as a recurring form. Eric Rohmer’s 1967 film , “La Collectionneuse,” provides the title and features an artwork made from a used paint can neatly embedded with dozens of razor blades. Ms. Rodriguez has recreated it in four tastefully colored ceramic vessels, blades and all. (Rohmer aside, they also evoke Giacometti’s 1931 spiked phalluslike sculpture, “Disagreeable Object,” and Meret Oppenheim’s 1936 fur-covered teacup.)
Other elements on display include a gold wedding ring, set into a groove cut in the gallery’s marble mantelpiece — a perfect wedding of two materials; and a three-wall enclosure tailored to the gallery’s lighting system — a square of fluorescent ceiling lights — that intensifies the hygienic effect of the gallery as white cube. A revolving metal rack displays four sets of black-and-white photographic postcards free for the taking: one shows the gallery’s ceiling, which has a center circle remaining from its original light, as well as the fluorescents. The other three document a series of monochromatic wall pieces by Ms. Rodriguez titled “Standing O” installed in the homes of three collectors. Round, with pronounced drips, these pieces may summon the old Sherwin-Williams logo of a globe dripping paint and the phrase “Cover the Earth,” which has a new resonance in today’s global art market. That Henry Sherwin (1842-1916) patented the first resealable paint can should probably not be ignored.
– Roberta Smith