Five galleries sit in a row on the northern edge of Chelsea, lined up on 27th Street between Eleventh and Twelfth Avenues. All of them are fairly small, by Chelsea standards, and a bit rougher around the edges, perhaps a bit more experimental, than your average neighborhood space. Unfortunately, all of them were also hit incredibly hard by Hurricane Sandy.
Martha Friedman’s recent work marks a significant shift away from the sculptures that first gained her attention. Working within a territory that includes Rene Magritte, Claes Oldenburg and Vija Celmins, Friedman became known for casting enlarged versions of commonplace items; nails, cantaloupes, waffles, yucca plants, blue eggs, olives, rubber bands and cow tongues. Until this exhibition, her sculptures tended to be pictorial and irreverent, their wit something we associate with Pop art and the domesticated Surrealism of Roy Lichtenstein.