It is always good to know a curtain man, and in the art world – with Piero della Francesca not around any more – that man is Harry Roseman. The maverick sculptor’s gargantuan, billowing Curtain Wall (2001), a wall relief in modified gypsum, greets passengers en route to Immigration at JFK’s International Air Terminal 4. (Once they are ready for their fingerprints, Deborah Masters takes over.) Roseman is now taking his drapery theme along a different track, in an installation at Nancy Margolis that fuses semiotics and eye candy graphics with delectable finesse. The whole work can be read as a pun on “line”: painted lines on the wall denote flapping and folding fabric in a way that is at once schematic and credible (he looks momentarily like an American cousin of Julian Opie and you half expect one of the British neo-Pop artist’s cool beauties to pull aside the covering). And then, actual felt strips loop over the gallery window and sign-in desk in an effortless transition from plane to relief, from affixed to free, from brushed to cut, from signifier to signified.
523 West 25th Street, between 10th and 11th avenues, New York City, (212) 242-3013. From December 8, 2011 to January 14, 2012 (closed 12/23 – 1/2).print