Kinky Quickie Mops and Bewigged Geriatric Coquettes

How long has it been since the collectors who purchased Toland Grinnell's wall assemblages have handled their own brooms and bottles of laundry detergent, items which appear in these works encircled in neon, surrounded by ads, and exploding with a mad, pop energy? The former wunderkind continues to mine the field of consumer desire, leaving behind his preoccupation with luxury goods to explore the twin cults of order and cleanliness. Personally, I'm more comfortable with an art that mocks aficionados of Louis Vuitton than one that makes fun of people eager to save $30 on a laser printer; the combination of cheap stuff and high production values here seems snide, but I was won over by a large vitrine crammed with household gadgets neatly arrayed like a domestic arsenal. Who before Grinnell has pondered the Quickie mop's kinky sexual connotations?

Rachel Feinstein's Eva (detail)
photo: Marianne Boesky Gallery
Rachel Feinstein's Eva (detail)

Details

Toland Grinnell
Mary Boone Gallery
745 Fifth Avenue
Through April 23

Rachel Feinstein
Marianne Boesky Gallery
535 West 22nd Street
Through April 23

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In the past, I've found myself out of step with Rachel Feinstein's fairy-tale sculpture—perhaps it was her breezy assertion that she was tired of "art about how fucked up it is to be a woman," whereas that's one of my favorite fixations. Still, I loved the uncanny theatricality and delicious morbidity of her current show. Turning the tables on her own recent fashion world celebrity, the artist presents paintings on oval mirrors of elderly women dolled up in 18th-century court dress, wearing wigs whose white ringlets cascade down their bony, bare shoulders, or clutching parasols and miniature deer. This chorus of bejeweled, geriatric coquettes who seem to have emerged from the back lot of a 1940s MGM period picture stares out at her latest sculptural productions: larger-than-life-size, biomorphic pieces suggesting stage sets for some obscure drama of personal identity. Perhaps only a glamour-puss could mock our fears of aging so defiantly.

 
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