Borough Hall

The home is past," Theodor Adorno wrote in an essay on the melancholy of late 20th-century transience. It seems he'd never been to Brooklyn, however. Though domesticity may be a luxury in cramped Manhattan, in that more generous borough it's widely available. This appealing show, one in a series featuring Brooklyn artists, focuses on works that use homely materials and a hands-on approach to reconfigure quotidian culture.

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Ron Baron's hanging entryway to the exhibition—a triumphal arch made from hundreds of baseball cards and curtain hooks—and his tower of discarded stuff (a plaid thermos, a used tire, a trophy figure) seem like allegories for the faded heroism of the domestic warrior. In her sculptures, Jean Blackburn patiently deconstructs ordinary objects (a ceramic pitcher, a table set for lunch, a chest of drawers) into puzzles that mime the complexity of human experience.

Andy Yoder weaves braided cloth, that most grandmotherly of materials, into uncanny forms: a Needy Rug that rises from the floor into a looming, cartoonlike phallus; punching bags that suggest a home composed in equal measure of comfort and aggression. In his Adolescence, a child's metal swing hangs in the center of a silver chair, surrounded by icons that evoke both innocence and temptation.

Finally, Duane Hanson meets Meissen ware in the work of Ann Agee, a gifted ceramist whose small figurines depict ordinary people in streetwear transformed through brilliant, gilt color and finely observed detail into hypersensual, quasi-kitsch adornments. In laborously hand-painted wallpaper, Agee copies the labels of household products (Scott Tissue, Q-Tips, Tide) and in a blue-and-white, Delft-like tile mural, she depicts a power plant in an anonymous neighborhood, as if loving attention to the waste products of industrial culture could endow them with permanence and nobility.

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