Alice Könitz

HUDSON FRANKLIN 508 West 26th Street #318 September 7–October 14

“Two Proud Society Spouses Are Reclining on Contemporary Furniture as a Golden-Eyed Ghost Lady Looks over the Coffee Tables,” the unwieldy title of Los Angeles–based artist Alice Könitz’s second New York solo show, not only hints at a narrative that might animate these more-or-less abstract sculptures and collages but also indicates that, in a pendular swing between private and public concerns (her last solo, in LA, was titled “Public Sculpture”), Könitz has returned to the intimate scale of the domestic. Here, the eponymous Ghost Lady, a fashion-model head clipped from a glossy magazine and adorned with bits of colored paper, looks over the room from the back wall, her Brown and White Melamine Mask, 2006, directly opposite. Between the two are a handful of modular, provisional-looking constructions that formally echo midcentury abstract sculpture (and “Contemporary Furniture”) but are rendered in inexpensive materials more common to flat-pack, build-it-yourself furnishings. Each supports knickknacks—small rocks fused to candles by dripping wax—and homemade “magazines.” The sculptures have a winsome charm, but it is the visual essays—comprising (among much else) a mix of fashion spreads and reproductions of Könitz’s earlier sculptures—that pack the greatest punch. The signs of rudimentary collage are still visible, but running a finger across the smooth surfaces betrays the fact that they have been scanned into a computer and reprinted. Some pages have geometric designs excised from the sheets, allowing the viewer to peek through—and once again adding a sliver of depth to the composition. The sophisticated translations between two and three dimensions (also a feature of Sara VanDerBeek’s photographs now on view at D’Amelio Terras) wittily acknowledge that bodies—both human and of artwork—must necessarily be chastened, becoming mere pictures; but this fact fails to diminish one’s desire to see Könitz pry them apart and make objects of them once again. —Brian Sholis