Marc Andre Robinson “Untitled (Rise and Fall of New Orleans)” (2008)

The title isn’t really the one Robinson suggested at the Friday August 1 dinner at Like the Spice gallery, he said “Untitled,” but I decided to rename it anyway. He spoke about it at the dinner and as soon as he mentioned New Orleans it made a lot click. I think it’s important that the “New Orleans” element be clear.

There is an eeriness and quiet solitude in the work. The sculpture seems to speak in whispers. The flat turquoise platform under the chairs help mark it as a special space.

The naughty chair formation leans into a drawing of a road of cross graves. The chairs also genuflect on a cushion, like a Catholic in prayer. The drawing has no horizon, only a series of chevron forms peaking at the center of the sheet mimicking the road and suggesting a long journey ahead.

I thought this work was the lynch pin of the “Forming Lines: Translations Between Drawing and Sculpture” show at Like the Spice. It was the only one that combined the two art forms seamlessly. The other drawings in the exhibition were sketches for sculptural work or had a similar feel as the sculpture but translated into two-dimensions. Not that there wasn’t other wonderful art but this one fit the framework of the exhibition to a t.

Robinson’s cross drawing feels amateurish but I suspect it is a stylistic element that helps give the illusion of innocence lost, like some morose everyteen that hasn’t grown up.

If you don’t know the work of Marc Andre Robinson, he is best know for his stunning and rhythmic “Myth Monolith (Liberation Movement)” (2002-2003) at the New Museum’s otherwise disappointing UNMONUMENTAL show earlier this year and his ouroboros-like “Throne for the Songs That Will Come by Themselves and of Themselves” (2008) at the Lehman College Art Gallery in the Bronx back in the Spring.

The sculpture is on display at Like the Spice until August 31, 2008…definitely check it out.

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