Freya Schlemmer contributes this Fresh VUE, a step through the looking glass into the whimsical reality of the newly renovated SculptureCenter in Long Island City. The space re-opened on October 2, with puddle, pothole, portal, co-curated by Ruba Katrib, Curator, SculptureCenter, and artist Camille Henrot. The exhibition focuses on the playful interaction of two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects in shared spaces, perfectly themed for the newest iteration of these artistic environs.
Upon approach to the SculptureCenter, you are immediately thrown off; the entryway flanks the sidewalk—compressing your personal space—and then opens into a courtyard and a glass-encased lobby. And so begins your adventure into a fantastical universe where time and space warp with each step and the line between dimensions is blurred. Continuing through the entry passage, Judith Hopf‘s flock of awkwardly absurd concrete block sheep greet you. Next, you can enter the void of the rear courtyard populated by the cartoonish volumetric cutouts of Mick Peter. Walk back into the gallery space and your sense of space is upended with a tromp l’oeil glass door. The main space is filled with site-specific objects that come together and interact, activating the potential of this revitalized architecture. Chad Rantanen’s Well shoots diagonally through the space. Win McCarthy’s water features are frozen in time. A pair of lobster claws by Maria Loboda sticks out from the corner of a wall like the ruby slippers of the Wicked Witch of the East. Off to one side, a small room painted in deep teal holds the work of Saul Steinberg, a main feature of the show.
Fall further in this dream world by stepping down to subterranean level. The eerie sounds of the revolving work of Abigail DeVille and a film by Hopf haunt the space. Here is where the show is most effective at piquing curiosity. You can lose yourself in this space; you’ll find yourself exploring each crevice, peeking around every corner in search of a new encounter.