Capsule Reviews

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Malerie Marder Malerie Marder probes the psychological dimensions of the human body. In Marders photos and video, the body becomes the surface on which the secret wishes, dreams and emotional sentiment of the mind at paranoid play are registered. A 12-minute video loop, At Rest, shows naked bodies soaking in water, lounging on beds and, most bizarre of all, pulsating at irregular intervals as if reliant on machines for breathing. Compositional like painting yet equally as perverse as the video, Marders large-scale color photographic prints invoke taboo social arrangements. In an untitled photo, eerie suggestive gazes between her naked mother leaning on the sink and boyfriend in the shower set a mood of embarrassment and arousal combined. Diane Marder shows Marders mother standing naked and alone in a barren kitchen of a suburban house. Victor Marder depicts the artists naked father sitting in front of a fireplace, noble as though ruminating yet defenseless because he is in the buff. The psychological ambivalence of this work will make you double-take, questioning and re-questioning your own position as viewer or voyeur. Amazing work. Through May 9 at The McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave., 214-953-1MAC. Reviewed April 22.

Medardo Rosso: Second Impressions In process lies the artists sleight of hand. This is the subtle and beautifully wrought message of the Medardo Rosso exhibition now showing in the basement gallery of the Nasher Sculpture Center. The Italian sculptor Rosso (1858-1928) worked in wax, though not like other artists of his day. Whereas wax had been used on the way to making form--as part of rendering the final form in bronze--for Rosso wax became the casting material itself. Instead of treating wax as a form-maker like clay, the material became form-holder like bronze, and, in turn, Rossos final products often took hold in the milky firm bodies of waxen form. In order to bring home the singularity of Rossos combined use of wax and expressive form, pieces such as Large Laughing Woman are shown in three forms, rendered in bronze, plaster and wax for comparison. While the emotional and sketchily modeled forms bring to mind the work of his French contemporary, the sculptor Rodin, Rossos work stands alone because of his inventive use of materials. Beyond that, and more powerful yet, Rosso brings home the emotive power that specific materials bring to form. Through June 20 at the Nasher Sculpture Center, 2001 Flora St., 214-242-5100.

Repetitive Moment by Paul Booker and Intuitive Technological Experience by Gary Parkins You, too, can acquire a fantasy kingdom in miniature. Coupled together but materially and formally distinct, the work of Texan Paul Booker and Montanan Gary Parkins makes for an urban archaeology of the crystalline and rocky. Made from plastic and pins, Bookers architectural sculptures sit on the wall casting shadow as if they were the lonely futuristic ruins of a dust-swept extra-planetary landscape. In a tectonic of plastic and aluminum, Booker performs tiny engineering feats. In Cantilever: Stacked Frames, the artist extends his dainty but strong materials out some 10 inches from the wall into the space of the gallery. Parkins sculpture is similarly small but more elemental, or, shall I say, mineral. Working with magnet as a raw material for sculpting, Parkins makes small, craggy forms, most of which are intended to be manipulated by human hands. Attracted by electromagnetic pulsion, the pieces come in small, irregularly shaped components that can be put together and taken apart. The pieces come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the fingery and coral reef-like to the bulbous and sugar sack-shaped. An exception to this is Parkins small tray of whirling, glittery disco dust, Thought Barrier, which, with its mesmerizing spin of sparkly sand, lures one into the gallery space. The preciosity of this work packs a powerful punch. Through May 9 in the New Works Space at The McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave., 214-953-1MAC.

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