From mock children’s toys in the form of sparkly pink gas masks and armed teacher figurines to a see-through backpack filled with plastic pistols and grenades, the artwork of Rich Tomasello cannot be called subtle. Nor can its messages against gun proliferation, the gendering of children, and the weaponizing of education be mistaken for anything but strong and painfully necessary social critique. “Flight,” Tomasello’s latest, is something quite different: a bevy of life-size female figures, nude, sculpted from plaster, and suspended gracefully in the air, their faces blank but serene. What they have got to do with the rest of his work, apart from the gas masks some sport, may be indicated by the visceral longing I experienced upon seeing them afloat: up in the sky is the only place I want to be right now, above the noxious atmosphere of this country and its new president-elect.
—Lori Waxman 11/13/16 11:11 AM