Rey calls them “ibjects” – hybrids, that is, between images and objects. Their oil-painted surfaces give the sense that they are “of” extant things in the world, the way images are, but their semi-industrial shapes suggest that they themselves have been pulled out of our normal object-world. You could call them “imaginary ready-mades” – The idea that they are imaginary and contingent is reinforced by their extreme fragility: their oil paint is applied on top of a soft and fleshy layer of plasticine.
There is something so harrowing about staring into Bontecou’s sculptures. They are at once primordial and other worldly, projecting outward and eerily enveloping you, overwhelming you. Her seemingly bottomless black holes reflect no light and no life, and yet, they are self referential — representing life itself as boundless and limitless.
I worked briefly at Chelouche Gallery in Tel Aviv, Israel. This was the exhibit on view at the time. These prolific pieces show a technical skill that is extraordinarily meticulous and idiosyncratic.
There is a masculinity to the constructed forms that is complimented by the organic, earth-toned felt that is inviting to the touch. They clash both physically and metaphorically: metal vs. material, male vs. female.