ZABRISKIE GALLERY

 
 
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Review

Edward Mayer


The New York Times
Grace Glueck
November 11, 2005
''Drawing Out,'' Edward Mayer's single work designed for and occupying the entire front exhibition space of this gallery, looks both sturdy and fragile, a skeletal, open-work modular passageway 18 feet long, put together like a giant Erector set. The modularity of its white wire shelving is messed up by extraneous debris, also painted white: tubing, metal fencing, tree branches and whatnot. At once disciplined architecture and intuitive sculptural drawing, the piece invites you to enter and explore it, while at the same time conveying a disturbing sense of matter out of place.
No monument maker, Mr. Mayer has been doing such three-dimensional drawings for more than three decades. They question traditional concepts of solid structure, permanence and arty materials meant to resist the encroachments of nature. One inspiration, he said in a recent interview, has been the Shinto shrine at Ise, Japan, whose wooden buildings have endured for more than 1,500 years because the shrine is rebuilt every 20 years in precisely the same way. Permanence is thus achieved ''through renewal instead of the use of nature-resistant materials.'' (Nice, but try selling such an idea to a civic official here.)

At any rate, the deliberate disconnects in Mr. Mayer's work give it animation, even as they flout the viewer's expectations of order. And how often do you get to view a drawing from the inside out?

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