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Donald Lipski at Galerie Lelong
 
     
 
Exquisite Copse No. 7
1999
 
Exquisite Copse No. 5
(First Shears)

1999
In this show, American sculptor extraordinaire Donald Lipski presents a group of life-like, artificial trees. The works are part of a collaboration with Jonquil LeMaster, whose artificial vegetation is on permanent view in "Jungle World" at the Bronx Zoo. The quasi-surrealist objects at Lelong are both a departure from and a refinement of Lipski's earlier experiments, which include Sirshasna, his bejeweled, inverted artificial olive tree currently installed at New York's Grand Central Station.

A number of the works, all made primarily with various forms of resin, depict tree trunks in which metal implements such as saw blades and carving tools have been embedded. Among the fascinating objects -- all titled Exquisite Copse -- is a circular tree trunk hanging from a rusted metal wall hook.

Another trunk hangs limply over a metal bar like one of Dalí's soft watches. A free-standing piece shows a door knob embedded in the tree trunk, and lying on the floor is still another trunk covered with baseballs, like some strange form of fungus. This show, which coincides with an exhibition of Lipski's work from the 1980s at John Gibson (through Feb. 26), is a provocative examination of technology's clash with nature.

Donald Lipski, "Exquisite Copse," Jan. 22-Mar. 4, 2000, at Galerie Lelong, 20 W. 57th Street, New York, N.Y. 10019.

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