Without the serial comma � the one inserted before �and� in a list of three or more items � a reader might infer from the sentence �I love my dogs, Elizabeth Murray and Yaddo� that my dogs were named Elizabeth Murray and Yaddo. (I assure you they are not!) But �Serial Comma� is also the title of a compelling three-person exhibition at Planthouse, located in the flower district just east of Chelsea. The show features paintings, drawings, and sculptural objects that are black, white, and color; graphic, cleanly articulated, and scrawled. It unfolds, as the title suggests, as a presentation of three distinct artists who nevertheless belong in the same sentence.
[Imager at top: Installation view, “Serial Comma” at Planthouse.]
Derek Bourcier�s wry installations include images, found objects, and photographs. Fish, sand, electronic data collectors, a wet suit, and diagrammatic drawings proffer a puzzle for viewers to ponder. A wet suit (Bourcier lives and works in St. Petersburg, FL) becomes a stand-in for the human presence in the ocean, pinned to the ground by scavenged dolphin figurines. Finally dolphins get a chance to ride the humans, immobilizing a destabilizing force.
Robert Medvedz�s dynamic screen prints are straightforward and graphic, referencing video games, toys, animation, and the act of drawing itself. In a series of small ink-on-paper drawings he uses beautiful line work to render strange half-human, half-animal organic forms that reveal an interest in graver existential questions.
Are the artists� contributions related to one another? They seem at least loosely connected by a shared interest in visual ambiguity, but the connection is linear rather than integrated. This is why we have the serial comma.
“Serial Comma | Derek Bourcier � Robert Medvedz � Robert Yoder,” Planthouse, Chelsea, New York, NY. Through July 25, 2015.
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