Rashomon, a series of 15 identical sculptures by the minimalist Charles Ginnever, presents a basic phenomenological question: What do we know and how do we know it?
With Kaufman as with Ginnever nothing is quite what it seems. Landscape may be her jumping off point, but the drawings, rendered in black and white, are resolutely abstract. The best give off an Op-ish feel owing to fuzzy lines, which cause the pictures (or at least portions of them) to vibrate at different frequencies. The effects, depending on your internal gyroscope, range from a pleasant buzz to mild queasiness. Kaufman understands the power of repetition, and she employs it in many ways: in parallel geometric lines; in loopy markings that bring to mind the gestural oil stick drawings of Richard Serra and the cursive scrawls of Christopher Wool; and in yawning voids teeming with microscopic life that recall the large-scale works of Darren Waterston.
And so it goes throughout the exhibit. The best example is the one you see immediately upon entering Kaufman’s portion of the exhibit. It’s called Wallflower, and it’s built of petal shapes that increase in size moving out from the center. After a few seconds the center starts to spin. The edges fuzz, while the paper itself appears to undulate, as if wafted by wind. You’ll check your senses with a little two-step, moving forward and backward, side-to-side.