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Gigi Scaria | All About This Side

Written by Donald Kuspit 


The array of media in this exhibition was rather startling: two videos and a photograph, all rather large (each took up a wall of its own); sculptures of bronze and plastic, or bronze alone, most small, often serially arranged; and works on paper, variously sized, sometimes watercolors, sometimes subtly mixing watercolor and automotive paint. All but two were made this year, and all were meticulously crafted; the works on paper in particular have a nuanced clarity. Many of these works pictured outlandish, bizarrely constructed buildings: monstrous towers of geometrical babel, as in Ladders of Gravity and Uncertain Terrain, both 2017. Scaria’s eccentrically abstract sculptures also often depict buildings—and in both cases these structures appear oddly agonized, twisting and turning as though in the throes of death. The buildings in his drawings Core and Detached, both 2017, are less complicated and less interesting, if also oddly threatening: Floor rises above floor, forming an infinitely extendable grid, and neat little windows—black geometrical holes in the grayish surface—punctuate each level. “A house is a machine to live in,” Le Corbusier famously said, and Scaria’s buildings are houses, but there is no sign of human life or nature in or around them—a point made clear by the dead tree in Detached. There is also an air of alienation, conveyed by the emptiness of the buildings and the barrenness of their appearance—a sense of being nowhere in particular, of indifference and of anonymity.