Fresh News: Toying with Art

For certain contemporary artists, designers and architects, play is inseparable from the creative act. In this week’s Fresh News, our Rite of Spring celebrates their frisky projects and playful media.

Toys. On view until May 19 at Design Exchange, Toronto, the exhibition “This Is Not A Toy” explores the conceptual toy as an art and design object as well as a contemporary cultural sign. Mirrors. The delightful “Invisible Barn” created by New York-based architecture firm stpmj in Socrates Sculpture Park is a parallelogram-shaped structure made of wood and sheeted with mirror film. Potatoes. Curators have to keep an eye on the real live spuds in Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963–2010,” the current Sigmar Polke retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. Wax body parts. One of artist Robert Gober’s legs lies just around the corner. A survey of Gober’s work, “The Heart Is Not a Metaphor” opens this October at MoMA. Space Invaders. Artist Dan Hernandez’s gilded faux-frescoes on view now at Kim Foster Gallery are a fascinating fusion of Renaissance art and vintage video games. Plastic lizards. Artist Hew Locke is known for composing a 2004 portrait of Queen Elizabeth II with a mass of plastic lizards, insects, black beads, and M16 assault rifles. Stickers. As featured in the VOLTA NY 2014 art fair, Zoë Charlton’s fantastical collage and gouache drawings convey social critique through sticky metaphors—tiny clipper ships, cloud islands, waves, bubbles and flying fish, dense forests, and a leaping horses.