07 December 2015
NEW YORK — A double decker two pronged sculptural flexing is happening on two floors at 327 Broome Street: Jeff Williams at Jack Hanley and Ruby Sky Stiler at Nicelle Beauchene. On the first floor Austin based sculptor Jeff Williams scapes a tactile shoulder draping fleet of Texas swagger. Metal fiberglass and plastic with some dashing a of wine glass and wood crinkle that curve with fabric-like fluidity. The pieces are draped over metal structures that serve as quasi utilitarian sawhorses metal clamps and a dangling finger trap. We are in a dungeon of whimsical medieval torture-acting out a position of flaccid voyeurism the forms are elegant and well colored and coyishly vain. Pressure points are cuffed in a well tucked shirt with belt buckles, a stylish ensemble of accessories that are essential and elegant.
Taking the stairs to the second floor, a chic loft of tasteful art deco vogues in the middle of the floor on white pedestals. The space’s boxiness lends itself to rectilinear formats and the wall pieces hold the wall with formal elegance. The works’ decorative formats deceptively cajole the eye into a pleasurable hallway–the show Figures, Fragments, and Open Form by Ruby Sky Stiler presents a beautiful body of work. The wall pieces basalted with hewn surfaces are elegantly composed and sculpturally arranged. Each piece its own composition, certainly evokes Kurt Schwitters’ Merzbau and even Lee Bontecou in its stitched hard nosed worn off-whites, but while Bontecou’s pieces fiercely lurk in wait, Stiler’s emit a nymph like harmony. Collaged fragments dance in concordant procurement, disregarding the potential for a dry-baked graveyard of familiar tactics. They are an animated Stonehenge of glyphs, raised eyebrows, and nail dragging sexiness. The vertical format emphasizes its figurative pictorial elements keeping its physicality in the realm of 2-dimensional visual language instead of a sculptural one. This bodes well for the wood sculptures in the middle that scroll and carve the air with metal like ease. Gates perhaps? Certainly not fragments, but a decorative complete thought. They are non hierarchical in relation to the wall pieces which pushes the installation into an upper east side Castelli-esque viewing. The show could do without an obstructive wall that unnecessarily breaks the space minimizing the gallery’s potential as a decorative display container for tasteful objects.
Overall, the play between both artists in their respective galleries provides a sculptural back and forth that is worth multiple trips up and down the stairs.
Ruby Sky: Stiler Figures, Fragments, and Open Form is on view through December 20th at Nicelle Beauchene Gallery 327 Broome Street New York, NY 10002
Jeff Williams: Bending Moment is on view through December 20th at Jack Hanley Gallery 327 Broome Street New York, NY 10002