Gedi Sibony’s backwards images in Greater New York

Gedi Sibony, label in “Greater New York.” Perhaps these are the titles for the artwork that has been turned to the wall?

In “Greater New York” at MoMA PS1, Gedi Sibony, known for his early assemblages of carpet and drywall, is represented by nine framed pieces that were made in 2015, but borrow an idea from his previous work. Each piece, seemingly sourced in a thrift shop, consists of an old metal frame — the popular, make-it-yourself modular type used to frame posters and prints in the 1970s. In each, the artwork has been turned away from the glass, leaving a view of the back where an anonymous framer attached the fragile piece of paper to the matboard. By displaying the back of the artwork, rather than the images that the original owner framed, Sibony playfully challenges the viewer to embrace a new narrative. The disintegrated tape and the yellowed matboards may at first glance seem a simple riff on Robert-Ryman-esque Minimalism, but they also tell a another story — about time, decay, and changing aesthetics.

Born in 1973, Sibony graduated from Brown in 1995, attended Skowhegan in 1999, and earned his MFA from Columbia in 2000. He is best known as an early proponent of a Provisional/Casualist approach, making abject sculptures and droopy wall pieces from recycled decorating and remodeling materials. His work was included in the 2006 Whitney Biennial, but in recent years has fallen out of favor with fickle auction bidders. His 2014 solo at Greene Naftali comprised a series of large-scale aluminum panels cut from tractor trailer trucks — a completely new approach that speaks more to monumentality than the decidedly unmonumental work Sibony was making previously.

“Greater New York,” curated by Peter Eleey and Mia Locks of P.S. 1; Thomas J. Lax, associate curator of media and performance art at MoMA; and Douglas Crimp, a professor of art history at the University of Rochester. MoMA PS1, Long Island City, Queens, NY. Through March 7, 2015.

Related posts:
Gedi Sibony moves beyond the Provisional(2015)
The paintings in “Greater New York”(2015)
Pre-game: Who’s included in “Greater New York”? (2015)
Ode to Robert Bordo (2015)


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One Comment

  1. Oh please! Hasn't this effort been seen enough? Appropriation needs to inform or create a dialogue to move forward not just take the ordinary and make it even more ordinary.

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