In this tour-de-force installation filling the entire gallery, Judy Pfaff explores the relationship between ritual and sculpture-making. She uses only natural substances such as wood, plaster, rubber and metal, and to her credit has abandoned the gaudy household plastic that she had incorporated in her art for some time. Although she obviously transformed the gallery space according to carefully thought-out plans, one comes away from this exhibition with a feeling more of spontaneous movements than fastidious design. She has turned the gallery into a place that looks like a watering hole for members of some strange cult.
Overhead are long, undulating metal tubes, stretching the length of the gallery and intertwined with gnarled branches of trees, that could be seen as symbolizing the painful clash of nature and industry. Ritual activity of some kind is suggested by perfectly round plaster mounds on the floor, which the artist combed and shaped into concentric rivulets and then splashed with pigment just before the plaster hardened. Like primitive cult objects or monuments, they seem to stake out some hallowed ground. In this engaging work, Pfaff suggests that her sculpture results from activity that is both socially and spiritually motivated.
NEXT . . .