Nicole Wermers’s sculptures operate both as clever art-historical jibes and contemporary political satire. Their ergonomic and utilitarian construction, using industrially produced materials, continues a kind of mainline homage to Marcel Duchamp, staging objects in ways that highlight their alien nature. Her Vertical Awnings series (rolled-up awnings with colored stripes) is coyly reminiscent of Daniel Buren’s stripes and Nancy Shaver’s towering assemblages. Givers & Takers is a series of upturned restroom hand dryers whose blowers have been turned to jet air into stove exhaust fans with bowed glass hoods. The small differences between each iteration points to the constricted range of options that typify “consumer choice.” They resemble the caricature of jowly, top-hatted capitalists, and pricks at the rhetoric of entitlement that has dominated American politics for the last six plus years.
“Nicole Wermers: Givers & Takers” continues at Tanya Bonakdar through July 29, 521 West 21st Street, New York, 212 414 4144print