Figure 1 shows a screen with a biomorph
in the center, surrounded by 14 potential progeny.
He fits into a context there of artists I call biomorphs
, but then, of course, those categories have overlaps, because Amino's work relates to somebody like Richard Lippold, who also has connections to Cage.
That very fact kept me looking at it, plus the degree to which it tapped into my own divided loyalties between minimal abstraction on the one hand and visceral funk on the other, a combination not uncommon among immigrants from beyond the Hudson, where Dali-, Tanguy- , or Miroesque biomorphs
had crosspollinated with indigenous American weirdness but where the exalted seventies of Mies and the Bauhaus also flourished.
Seen last season in Thelma Golden's "Freestyle" exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem, these large-format abstractions are made up of looping biomorphs
superimposed one on another as if Silly Putty in drop-dead shades of blue, green, salmon, beige, and brown had been shot out of a pump-action splatter gun.
The interlocking shapes of the architect's bulky biomorphs
derive, according to the show's catalogue, from "dynamic landscape formations such as glaciers and eroded slopes." At the outset, a single block of foam or wood is split along its veins, "offering splinters for further sculpting." These Z-scapes are nice to walk around and would be fun to clamber over, but could one crash out on them?
The often juxtaposed grids and biomorphs
of these curious and intricate compositions refer more distinctly to other paintings than to anything else.
Highlights of the final segment, "New Contemporaries 99," also on view in the Exchange Flags building, included Kenny Macleod's deadpan pseudo-confessional video Robbie Fraser, Ian Kiaer's enigmatic sculptural tableau of an Old Testament landscape, and Andrew Currie's high-jinks footage of a menagerie of endearing kinetic biomorphs
created from tiny motorized fans, plastic trash bags, cotton thread, and electric cable, among other materials.
, sheathed in multicolored PVC, interlock and bond in a range of seemingly sadomasochistic ways.
The imagery is quite consistent: on the one hand we have abstract-ish biomorphs
suggestive of breasts, penises, and vaginas; on the other, straightforwardly representational renderings of eyes and ears, or of disembodied limbs.