Nicole Cherubini at Caren Golden

installation view of works by Emily Keegin and Andrew Sendor at Caren Golden Gallery

Caren Golden has assembled a fascinating group show, "The Twilife," curated by Brit Shapiro. I'm not sure I understand the conceit which brought the work of these eleven artists together, but somehow it works.

Nicole Cherubini A Pair of G-Pots with Cherubs, Fur and Rope 2004 mixed media [work not in the current Caren Golden show]

There are no weak spots in the roster, but one of these artists really stands out, both for what I saw on West 23rd Street and for my personal history with the work.

Barry and I had first seen smart conceptual work by Nicole Cherubini when it was photo-based, but for a while she has been creating some pretty outrageous stoneware sculptures. I don't know for sure why it has taken me so long to "get" her fabulous ceramics, but they really took my breath away when I saw what she had contributed to this show.

I'm afraid my blindness had something to do with the stubborn native reserve I had thought I had overcome long ago, after years of embracing the exuberant expression of less retiring friends and strangers and especially after embracing the often extravagant art of my own times.

This surprises and embarasses the me I thought I had become.

Cherubini's art mocks the posturing of wealth characteristic of all civilizations, even if her pots could only have been created today. Every age displays its extravagance, but this one has not only rejected absolutely all restraint, it absolutely glories in the rejection.

I don't think this gorgeous, exuberant sculpture could have been done in the 80's, even in the East Village. In the few years since the dispersion of the world evoked in the current New Museum retrospective of a special time and place, our everyday world has gone so much farther than Arch Connelly or Rodney Alan Greenblat. Cherubini is simply claiming this current outrageous age for her art.

[first image from ArtNet, second image from Samson Projects LLC via ArtNet]

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Published on January 2, 2005 4:15 PM.

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