Amidst the cacophony of fast and loose summer group shows offered in Chelsea this year stands, literally and figuratively, one unforgettable exhibition. The art of Dustin Yellin is a cross between painting and sculpture, science and science fiction. His magical objects, some taller than the viewer, are comprised of dozens of layers of resin that are meticulously painted with acrylic and inks - layer atop layer - until a sinuous "life form" appears that looks like it would be at home in sea, sand, or air.
Each object is a comment on nature, genetic experimentation, color and form, culminating, in this reviewer's mind, in some of the freshest and most distinct art being made today. I was reminded, even before I saw the exhibition's title, of suspended animation because these works are expressions frozen in time. And they have an otherworldly feel, like encapsulated specimens brought back from space exploration, that gives the entire installation a strange viral cast.
What I like, in particular, is the presence of the artist's hand, the various imperfections that this technique would invariably yield, and the volume of work and wherewithal that leaves many of today's hit-and-miss masters in the dust. Looking at the front or back of each piece, you see these colorful and luminous life forms that tickle the senses while daring recognition. And from the side, it all disappears, and you are left with the countless lines that mark each layer of effort.
If, like me, you are into something different, well conceived and painstakingly crafted, then see this show. - D. Dominick Lombardi
Suspended Animation at the Robert Miller Gallery, 524 West 26th Street, New York, N.Y. 10001. Through July 31st.
D. Dominick Lombardi is an artist with representation in Kasia Kay Art Projects and Lisa Boyle Gallery in Chicago, and Van Brunt Gallery in Beacon, NY; a writer with Sculpture, DART, & Magazine and NYARTS; and an independent curator.