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Nancy Rubins: Fluid Space
June 24, 2021 - August 6, 2021Free
In Fluid Space (2019–), the series from which the exhibition takes its title, Nancy Rubins uses cast metal animals that have been sliced into fragments which expose their seams and undersides, calling further attention to the shape-shifting potential of the metal itself. These quasi-organic structures bloom from tables and stools, recalling past works such as Table & Airplane Parts (1990–2011), which incorporate architectural foundations from which disparate elements emerge.
In sculptures such as Fizzy’s Nebuli and Noir’s Cluster (both 2019), parts of the cast animals are bound together by webs of tensile cables, producing configurations that are no longer legible as fauna, reading instead as structures that approximate rosebuds or ivy tendrils. The sculptures’ titles also emphasize their correspondence with cosmic and cellular phenomena. In these and other works, Rubins testifies to her chosen materials’ resilience while also hinting at ongoing processes of change.
Also on view are large-scale and smaller unmounted drawings on paper, fixed directly to the wall in Rubins’s customary manner. She covers the entire surface of the thick paper with graphite, producing a dense, shiny, steel-gray expanse that bears traces of her hand and gives the impression of bottomless depth. In the larger drawings, multiple sheets of paper are combined and folded so that they arc away from the wall, echoing the forms of some sculptures.