Art in Review


Molly Lowe’s audacious first New York solo is not for the agoraphobic. She has turned the main gallery at Suzanne Geiss into a crowded subway car populated by soft sculptures of wayward appendages, arms and fingers and other long and spindly body parts. They snake around a frame of white tubing and bump against you as you pass through the installation (a process reinforced by the awkward pleasantries of the piece’s title).

Ms. Lowe, who created characters made entirely of fingers for a Performa 13event, is clearly interested in the haptic sense — recognizing objects through touch — particularly as it relates to our impressions of space. But she also appeals to the optic, giving her sculptures mottled, skinlike coverings of red, brown and peach paint. The auditory is also engaged, in recordings that emanate from some of the sculptures; they include strains of a Bollywood musical and readings from a self-help book.

The sounds and colors help to distinguish this environment from some obvious sculptural precedents, like the phallus fields of Yayoi Kusama and insectoid appendages of Louise Bourgeois. So does the invitation to rub elbows with Ms. Lowe’s grotesque creatures. They offer exactly the sort of interactive art experience contemporary viewers seem to desire, but then complicate it with feelings of anxiety and repulsion.

A version of this review appears in print on March 28, 2014, on page C28 of the New York edition with the headline: Molly Lowe: ‘Sorry, Excuse Me, Thank You’. Order Reprints|Today's Paper|Subscribe