Magazine article Artforum International

Lucy Puls: Stephen Wirtz Gallery

Magazine article Artforum International

Lucy Puls: Stephen Wirtz Gallery

Article excerpt

Secondary markets shift constantly, and not just in the art world. The advent of eBay has altered the way we value objects that gather dust. Even Dick Cheney has seen fit to point out that a sizable number of Americans now avoid unemployment lines by selling their stuff on the Internet. Since the late 1980s, Lucy Puls has instead transformed household junk into sculpture, casting old toasters, books, LPs, CDs, and stuffed toys inside blocks of translucent resin and turning them into solid forms that exude a strangely alluring sense of loss.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Puls's new work represents a visual, if not thematic, departure that mirrors evolving attitudes about the redistribution of functional and decorative objects. Her recent exhibition at Stephen Wirtz Gallery featured six sculptures, each composed of a flaglike piece of sheer fabric digitally printed with a photograph of a discarded object or objects. These include used mattresses, computer monitors, and battered appliances left on sidewalks or front yards in the hope that passersby will take pity on and adopt them. A number of the photographs also picture the handwritten "Free" signs made by the objects' former owners. Here, Puls matched these forlorn images with actual objects (a dented green cabinet, a Slimline rotary phone, a pair of oversize stereo speakers) that came from a secondhand source and tchotchkes purchased from the kind of ninety-nine-cent store that Andreas Gursky made iconic in his 1999 photograph. The arrangement of these materials has an appealing casualness that evokes scatter art and alludes to the way that sculpture, like any other consumer good, weathers periods of neglect as well as desirability.

Ultimately, what all the works in the show evoke is a tension within the idea of the unwanted. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.