Magazine article Artforum International

Adam Putnam

Magazine article Artforum International

Adam Putnam

Article excerpt

P. P.O.W

Exhibitions by Adam Putnam test the boundaries between architecture and bodies--specifically his own. The New York-based and-born artist explores this theme in a number of ways, most notably through a particularly uneasy brand of performance: Once every week during his last New York show, in 2009, he hung, for five minutes, from an approximately eighteen-foot-long chain. This show, the artist's first at this gallery, emphasized his sculptures, photographs, and works on paper, presenting exquisitely rendered drawings of Romanesque arches and steeples in charcoal and pigment; sculptures composed of pieces of wood knotted together with rope or bungee cords into makeshift architecture; and large black-and-white photographs, many of which focus on the kinds of private acts that occur within a specific kind of room--the studio. (He also delivered a performance, which involved elongating his body with stilts, after this issue went to press.)

Among the last of these three bodies of work was a selection of photos from the 2014 series "The Drop," in which images of a fraught figure make the act of embodiment into a precarious negotiation with one's physical environment. In Untitled (The Drop IV), a vaguely human shadow appears on a wall amid the trappings of a studio practice: rope, pipes, and lumber. In Untitled (The Drop I), the artist pictures himself nude and limply bending over at the waist, his hands and feet bound. In these pieces, the human body is vulnerable, appearing, alternately, as an object or a phantom. Similarly, a chilling image from the "Interior Shadow" series, 2013, portrays a figure in a the same white-walled space with his head and face unnervingly masked by cloth.

Accompanying the photographs and drawings were four sculptures made with trussed-together pieces of wood. Emblematic is Chrysalis II, 2014, a skeletal, tepee-like structure, which brought a vertical orientation to the show and included an element--a steel ring dangling from its center--that echoed Putnam's aforementioned performance. …

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.