Mel Kendrick at Mary Boone Gallery

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Installation of Mel Kendrick’s sculptures at Mary Boone Gallery

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My review of Mel Kendrick’s exhibition at David Nolan Gallery, found here, is equivocal but, on the whole, positive. Having subsequently visited the sculptor’s concurrent show at Mary Boone Gallery, my equivocations continue apace and not for the better.

The pieces at Boone are a colossal waste of time, material and effort–and I do mean colossal. What is gained from radically increasing the size of Kendrick’s droll investigations of mass and void? (Other than upping the asking prices, of course.) The press release points to the “epochal ‘laying down’ of geology.” In truth, what Kendrick presents is scale without purpose, ostentation for its own sake and modest ambitions thwarted by grandiosity.

Kendrick wouldn’t be the first artist to over-reach in order to fill Boone’s Chelsea branch, with its beautifully preserved wood trusses and soaring, expansive space. In fact, Kendrick follows in a fairly predictable tradition. It’s enough to make you think that the place is more about the dealer than the art to which it is ostensibly dedicated.

© 2011 Mario Naves

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