Casey Kaplan

Artist News

View of “Artist’s Choice: Trisha Donnelly,” 2012-13, Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Sarah K. Rich on Trisha Donnelly’s Artist’s Choice at MoMA

TAKE ALFRED H. BARR JR.’S famous flowchart of Cubist and abstract art, ca . 1936, and bend it back so that it makes a long cylinder. Make sure the edges overlap a bit so Redon (that hermetic sensualist whom Barr shoved over to the sinister side of his graph, and whose influence he reduced to a dotted line) and Rousseau (the outsider whose hard edges somehow qualified him for positioning on the right-hand side, above the hyperrational Constructivists) lie one atop the other. Take a long pin (ideally an Art Nouveau hatpin from 1900 that was made of a new metal alloy later essential for the production of satellites) and pierce the cylinder at the Redon-Rousseau intersection. Push through until the pointy end comes out at the dense cluster of lines where Orphism is snuggling up to such utopian developments as De Stijl, Suprematism, and the Machine Aesthetic. The objects in “Artist’s Choice: Trisha Donnelly” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York can be plotted along that hatpin. In Donnelly’s installation, objects of utopian disappointments and expired modernities are staged in dense juxtapositions meant (seemingly without irony) to encourage their reinvigoration…