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Rezac sculpture installation
Rezac sculpture installation

Installation shot of Richard Rezac’s show at Luhring Augustine Chelsea, with Chigi, 2017 in the foreground

A drawing in a project room of Richard Rezac’s solo exhibition this summer at Luhring Augustine was at once plan and elevation, as elegant as it was documentary—but of what, the viewer might ask? Provisionally it be called a thingmabob.

On consideration, one can discover a legitimate way of naming these works, as Rezac’s catalogue essayist Graham Bader does, as the entwining object and image. This set of terms is more than merely felicitous. “Object” and “image” are not mere words chosen at random but key terms in the history of ideas through which significant aesthetic ideologies have fought for creative co-existence. (Put differently: not all things are art; criteria matter.) When Donald Judd speaks of objects, what gives his reductive modernism force is that Constructivist engineering has informed his thinking, a certain narrative by which sculpture is non-trivial. Or, when André Breton and Aimé Césaire speak of an image, they are wielding the instrumentality of Surrealism to get at psychological and political resistance and revolt. No mere juxtaposition will do: under the rule of metamorphosis, sense becomes other: a kind of signifying non-sense, or otherwise, an annealing synthesis.

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