It’s hard to say if the sculptures of Michelle Marcuse are finished. “Mapburst” reconfigures strips of painted cardboard into a giant whorl atop horizontal waves, looking as if it has only momentarily settled into its current shape. “Body blend” wraps string back and forth between two curvy wires, as if draping a model with fabric while creating a new garment or, less fancifully, as if some poor waif were dressed in rags on the way to dissolution. Marcuse’s materials, which also often include raffia and shreds of paper, must be broken down in order to be remade anew, and their colors rarely stray from black, brown and white, though yellow wire coating can be glimpsed underneath a scrappy coat of dark paint in “Raising the twilight.” It’s a process, and arguably a result, fitting for an artist born in apartheid South Africa, who has grown up watching her country pull itself apart and put itself back together, over and over again.
—Lori Waxman 10/13/2023 5:26 PM