It doesn’t take much for an abstract arrangement of shapes to look like a face. There are Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram feeds devoted to this phenomenon, which is formally known as “pareidolia.” While looking at Sophie Hirsch‘s solo show Autokorrekt at Brooklyn’s Signal gallery last weekend — which features intensely sensual abstract sculptures made of silicone, plaster, resin, Plexiglas, bubble wrap, and other hardware store supplies — I got an acute pang of pareidolia from two pieces made from molds of peeled pomegranates.
The objects — one a hydrocal plaster pile of the small, pockmarked, and scaly balls (“Untitled 5,” 2015, at top), the other a leaning plinth of sleek black marble whose underside is filled with pomegranate clusters (“Untitled 1,” 2015, directly above) — immediately conjured tumor-like accumulations of mutant faces. Some are smiling, others seem to be melting away or collapsing, others still have monstrous excesses of eyes, mouths, and noses. They look like the cast-off experiments of an aspiring Dr. Frankenstein, crumpled up and tossed in a pile. I kept expecting them to break into song, like the chorus in some science fiction musical. The sculptures’ irrepressible anthropomorphism brought to mind movies and artworks of a decidedly more figurative, fantastic sort.
I can’t look at Hirsch’s sculptures anymore without seeing dozens of tiny faces staring back at me, mouths agape, as if they’re about to speak.
Sophie Hirsch’s Autokorrekt continues at Signal (260 Johnson Avenue, Bushwick, Brooklyn) through April 26.
Memories So Fair and Bright
Kimetha Vanderveen’s paintings are about the interaction of materiality and light, the bond between the palpable and ephemeral world in which we live.
Artists Contemplate Sovereignty in Santa Fe
The Santa Fe Art Institute’s 2024 International Thematic Residency focuses on what sovereignty means for artists from across the world.
When I Am Empty Please Dispose of Me Properly
Ayanna Dozier, Ilana Harris-Babou, Meena Hasan, Lucia Hierro, Catherine Opie, Chuck Ramirez, and Pacifico Silano explore the myths of the American Dream at Brooklyn’s BRIC House.
How Did Early Modern European Craftspeople Pass On Their Knowledge?
A new book about object making critically examines a written history of working with materials.
Dual Portrait of Old Master Rachel Ruysch Holds a Trove of Secrets
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has just acquired the rare painting, which depicts the Dutch artist at work surrounded by her signature flora.
Pratt’s 2023 Fine Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition Is On View in Brooklyn
The two-part exhibition features the work of 41 graduating artists across disciplines, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, and integrated practices.
Did Van Gogh’s Disdain for the Eiffel Tower Inspire “Starry Night”?
Art historian James Hall argues that van Gogh replaced the Eiffel Tower with a towering cypress tree and its inaugural light shows with the night sky.
Greek Museum Welcomes Dogs For World Stray Animal Day
Furry friends and their pawrents can visit Athens’s National Museum of Contemporary Art for free this weekend.
The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation Presents The Feminine in Abstract Painting
Curated by Jennifer Samet and Andrea Belag, this group exhibition in NYC explores the feminine through aesthetics, as opposed to identity or gender.
Ai Weiwei Recreates Monet’s “Water Lilies” Using 650,000 LEGOS
It’s the artist’s largest LEGO artwork to date.
Did a Simpsons Episode Predict the Florida “David” Outrage?
The episode, which aired 30 years ago, made a dark prediction about conservative politics in 2023.
NYU Steinhardt Opens 2023 MFA Thesis Exhibitions
Taking place at 80WSE Gallery in New York’s Greenwich Village, Part I is on view from late March through April while Part II opens in May.
Coasting the Topography of South Asian Futurisms
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Sadaf Padder presents an exhibition to offer insight into her curatorial process.
I’m a Florida Drag Queen and I’m Scared
I’m truly at a loss for what to do for work and what kind of life I can expect to live.