When Man Ray stuck a photo of an eye onto a metronome, when Meret Oppenheim covered a tea cup with fur, when Joseph Cornell did everything he did, they were pairing found and constructed objects into assemblages meant to trigger a cascade of new meanings and unconscious revelations. The strangeness of their combinatory gestures continues to exert its power today, most recently in a series of small, medium and large floor and wall sculptures by Melissa Pokorny. Certain materials recur: aluminum foil, lanyards, raincoat fabric, floral inkjet prints, postcards. Tactics of arrangement, too: using the canvas edge as a shelf, hanging components off the canvas via protrusions, laying the canvas on the floor as a platform. Some elements, like protuberances—twists of foil and glass bananas—trumpet the Surrealist horn with glee. Each work has its own title, but together they go by “(Ways of)”. Ways of what? That is for the individual viewer to figure out, based on her own material, experiential and aesthetic memories. The Surrealists weren’t after universal truths, and Pokorny’s anomalous layering of moody silk over foil legs, with bright yellow lanyard hair and a garden trail below, promises to produce only idiosyncratic ones.
—Lori Waxman 3/24/16 4:44 PM