Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sterling Ruby, SUNRISE SUNSET @ Hauser & Wirth

Man, Sterling Ruby has out Matthew Day Jackson, Matthew Day Jackson. This is what Matthew Day Jackson’s show at Hauser & Wirth should have been. Or at least been more like. Ruby’s show is a giant, bombastic, confused, scattered, absurd exhibition and possibly the best approach ever to being shown in one of Chelsea’s megamall galleries. I mean, how did Matthew Day Jackson not have giant car-engine parts covered in blood? How did that get by him? I find it hard not to like Ruby’s huge collage pieces of bleach-splattered cloth with the occasional florescent spandex worked in, sculptures that look like giant ashtrays from a grade school art class. Ruby even obnoxiously hawks the cardboard splayed with paint used to protect his studio floors. Hell, I think he should be showing nothing but giant pieces that would bankrupt any aspiring artist in the giant Hauser & Wirth. He even made a Calder out of aluminum bats. I love / hated the show in exactly the way I imagine it was intended. The work feels genuinely dislikeable in its bombast and over-scaled sloppiness in a way that is challenging the viewer to feel disgruntled and hate it. Even trying to be punk while selling for absorbent costs at a top-of-the-food-chain Chelsea gallery, seems like he is trying to push buttons. If this is the next generation of what is cool, then I am down, but again, I remember when Matthew Day Jackson was the hot artist on the rise, and now after a prolonged absence from Chelsea and getting killed in his first show back at Hauser & Wirth, it is hard not to worry that his artistic legacy is very much in jeopardy. So I guess we’ll see how high and for how long Sterling Ruby can fly.

Already Down


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