If you think city squirrels are cute but too cracked out to touch, Mexican-American artist Mario Ybarra Jr. offers a safer (albeit spooky) alternative in his latest exhibition, The Black Squirrel Society, at Lehmann Maupin. In this secret underground world, black squirrels live by a strict code of order and ethics. The multimedia installation includes anthropomorphized figurines of cute squirrels hard at work, posters and drawings of them at war, and songs that praise their name. In 2006, Ybarra created a similar work on birdlife, deluging the Serpentine Gallery in London with stuffed birds and bird-related designs and artifacts in the exhibit “The Peacock Doesn’t See Its Own Ass/Let’s Twitch Again: Operation Bird Watching.” We’re just glad his squirrel project has a shorter title.
July 11-Aug. 8, 10 p.m., 2008

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