Home is, for most of us, an intimate place to seek shelter and express personal style. But it is also, as this impressive show of 29 artists from across the U.S. demonstrates, fertile ground for seeding environmental statements, for validating (or debunking) urban and suburban myths and for leveling criticism about design and consumption. As such, home in this wide-ranging exhibition, is less a physical structure than it is an attitude or state of mind.
Gina Tuzzi’s balsa wood sculptures, which form a fantastical caravan, look and feel like a flashback to the utopian ideals of a generation ago when her parents hit the road in a van. She mounts elaborate, multi-story structures on the beds of tiny trucks, piling layers of architectural history into unwieldy towers that dwarf the vehicles. Given the provisional nature of the economy, these sculptures could also be read, alternately, as signs of hard times — a topic covered several years back by the photographer Richard Gilles and by The New York Times in a recent piece about homeless people sleeping in their cars in Walmart parking lots.
The elements in Robert Minervini’s paintings of interiors form a contemporary pastiche of furnishings and objects from different eras: exotic birds and Greek marble busts sit next to modernist tabletop sculptures, 18th century French armchairs surround an enormous modern white sofa, while an Op-ish painting overlooks the scene. These mash-ups recall, in style and substance, the interiors of Jim Richard, the New Orleans painter who’s made a career out of skewering the tastes of the rich. Whether Minervini’s are parodies or paeans is hard to say.