What does it take to create a figure, at its most basic form it depicts a human or an animal? Millennia of civilizations have experimented with this basic representational need, achieving success with lines in the sand, round stones and meticulous oil paintings. Alison Grimm uses crushed paper, painter’s tape, pink string, cardboard, drippy discolored wax and a few other unassuming materials besides. Empathy remains the pinnacle of possible reactions to the ancient goal of figural depiction, and some of Grimm’s combinations achieve more shared feelings than others. A skinny stack of wax with a pink tip, angled on little blocks and braced by paper, registers too much between a matchstick and a body part. But that crushed paper girl, her hot pink ponytail long down her back, her knees braced with blue tape patches—she sits in an elegant heap atop a cardboard dais, as grand as she is nothing, as strong as fragile, as touching as anything. And she may just have been made from scraps Grimm found on the studio floor.
—Lori Waxman 11/27/15 5:22 PM