Three exhibitions to see in New York this weekend
From Ouattara Watts at Karma to Lydia Ourahmane at the SculptureCenter
Gabriella Angeleti and Benjamin Sutton
Future Retrieval, Adaptation, Slouch (2022).
Courtesy Denny Dimin Gallery and the artist.
Future Retrieval: Crystal-Walled Seas
Until 4 June at Denny Dimin Gallery, 39 Lispenard Street, Manhattan
What if our lives could be as thoroughly designed and ordered as the interior of an aquarium? That seems to be the ideal of optimised habitation that the artist duo Future Retrieval (Guy Michael Davis and Katie Parker) is hinting at in this show, which takes its title and some inspiration from Ocean Gardens: The History of the Marine Aquarium, an 1857 book by the British illustrator and naturalist Noel Humphreys on man-made aquatic habitats. Appropriately, stepping into the duo’s exhibition feels something like plunging into an enormous aquarium brought to life by aluminium sculptures, collages of cut paper and a wool weaving based on illustrations of undersea plant life. But the stars of the show are the duo’s superb ceramic sculptures based on the imitation rocks and coral formations designed for use in home aquaria. Their psychedelic patterns and rippling forms give them such otherworldly auras, they could seemingly be the devotional objects of some deep-sea society of very sophisticated crabs. In fact, small crustaceans (likewise rendered in stoneware) stand perched on several of the faux coral sculptures, as if they were reclaiming these human approximations of nature’s strange, inimitable beauty for the crab kingdom.