“White Drops” at Belenius – Artforum International

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In “White Drops,” curator Regina Fiorito pairs work by Seth Price and Tobias Pils with that of the influential Polish textile artist Barbara Levittoux-Świderska (1933–2019) to evoke the possibility of finding solace from ambient disorientation in the enigmatic fragment.

The exhibition is titled after Białe krople (White Drops, 1997), a monumental wall-mounted sculpture that Levittoux-Świderska made with slips of plastic foil resembling used, shredded grocery bags held together with a grid of transparent fishing wire. Like an old wedding dress extracted from the clothing racks of a secondhand store, it is both ethereal and abject, an object of marvelous potential lodged in the register of detritus.

Across from Białe krople, Pils’s large painting Untitled (candles b.f.), 2014–15, projects a similar double affect. A rectangular void in the center of the canvas is framed by a jumble of abstract marks that could be read as talons, wiring, or corseting. Pils girds this structure with swaths of thick white paint that signal both makeshift solutions and instances of authoritarianism, as though the municipality had found some message offensive and demanded censorship.

Seth Price’s Untitled, 2008, is a sheet of high-impact polystyrene imprinted with a vacuum-formed breast and the year of the work’s production. The rounded breast floats off-center on the lower half of the large piece of plastic, an organ without a body. Fiorito describes the soft shape as a phantom, but I can feel the skin around my own nipples respond to it. I have always been attracted to the honest admission of alienation.

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