In the Galleries - In the Still Epiphany CLOSES October 27 at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts

May 10, 2012 at 4:00 am

New York-based Gedi Sibony translates his celebrated stock in trade — spare, elegant installations of found objects — into a curatorial strategy, selecting artworks from the Pulitzer family's collection and installing them in the Foundation's Ando building to revelatory effect. An artist of proximity, Sibony harnesses his knack for isolating points of seemingly imperceptible frisson and teasing out their profundity on cross-historic, cultural and architectural levels. Let's begin with the architectural dimension: In homage to the familial intimacy of the collection, Sibony underscores the domestic aspects of Ando's design by populating the entryway with portraits — by Vuillard, Cezanne, Sargent — and stately busts. Entering the building's main artery, one is immersed in a sense of hearth — a Picasso painting of a fireplace, a Lichtenstein painting of curtained windows, a hospitable offering of food in a still life by Bonnard; echoes of "home" resonate throughout. Sibony's most incisive skill is his eye for groupings and presentation. A totemic structure in the main gallery functions as the exhibit's pivotal hinge, housing a thousand-year-old copper Columbian headdress, an abstract bust by Giacometti (1930), two ceramic vessels from sixth-century China and an assortment of Mississippian clay jars that span nearly two thousand years. More akin to Wunderkammern than to museum displays, assemblages of this kind (and there are several in the exhibit) speak to an inspired vision of correspondences — between East and West, ancient and modern, aloof and intimate — and reawaken the languages (visual and verbal) we use to articulate what (and how) we see. Through October 27 at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, 3716 Washington Boulevard; 314-754-1850 or Hours: noon-5 p.m. Wed., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat.