PACE GALLERY | DECEMBER 9, 2011 – FEBRUARY 4, 2012
Mexican-born, New York-based Bosco Sodi’s exhibition of recent canvases falls in between the categories of sculpture and painting. Each of the 12 paintings on view has a thick surface whose crust has, in many areas, broken away from other parts of the painting. The surface reminds the viewer of a three-dimensional topographic map; Sodi’s use of pigment, sawdust, wood pulp, natural fibers, water, and glue combine to build an exterior that extends to a significant extent from the canvas. Looking for all the world like dried earth, the paintings are physical objects as well as cracked facades. Most of the paintings are large-scale and monochromatic; a couple of the works are tondos, and there is one painting that consists of vertically stacked horizontal bars, which seems to acknowledge the influence of minimalist Donald Judd. Many are colored a saturated pink, but there is one indigo tondo and one ink-black work. The colors come from all over the world—the indigo is from Mexico or India, while the black comes from carbon or soot. Entitled Ubi sunt, or “Where are…” this strong show speaks not only to art but also to the limits of mortality.
Jonathan Goodman is a teacher and author specializing in Asian art, about which he has been writing for more than twenty years.