Artur Lescher at Josée Bienvenu Gallery

Artur Lescher, Untitled (from Metaméricos) (2010), brass and wood; constructed from five 71″ segments; courtesy Josée Bienvenu Gallery

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What’s the cliché about singing the phone book?  Something about how a vocalist of extraordinary gifts could sing any old thing and make it sound good.

The same goes for Josée Bienvenu Gallery.  This venue has a supernal knack for installing exhibitions of art–for placement, pacing, lighting, point and counterpoint. Bienvenu could, yes, install the phonebook and make it look good.  As a result, it’s hard to know just how seriously to take the work of Brazilian sculptor Artur Lescher.

Lescher’s Metaméricos–a scientific term connoting organic structures whose segments are equal in weight and proportion–are constructed from brass hinges and reclaimed oddments of peroba do campo, a wood indigenous to Brazil and used for flooring and roofing.  Sleek, modular and flexible, Lescher’s pieces recall El Lizzitsky’s Proun Room (1923) in their elision of architecture and sculpture and, less profoundly, IKEA in their generic efficiency.

Bienvenu generates a bouyant sense of purpose in juxtaposing the sculptures, but give some credit to the artist:  the pieces–each of which is part insect, part robot and impeccably calibrated–have their own economical élan.

© 2010 Mario Naves

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