Art In America

Bunny Rogers

at Greenspon Gallery,
71 Morton Street

Bunny Rogers creates quirky, sentimental environments where the openings in the backs of plastic chairs look like weepy eyes, and a wine-damp mop becomes a prostrate mourner. She doesn’t anthropomorphize objects so much as remind us that feeling is often experienced more intensely when it appears to be reflected in something outside the body. The mop and the chairs figure as details in “Columbine Cafeteria,” an exhibition that continues Rogers’s exploration of mediation and trauma. The title refers to the site of the first sensational high-school shooting. Rogers intersperses the furniture and other details of institutional dining, such as the metal rails that trays slide over, with elaborate flights of fancy: stained-glass windows, embossed velvet curtains, and an animated video of a girl alone in a snow-filled cafeteria, pounding out pop songs on a piano.

The figures that appear in the latter works are drawn with the cartoonish flattened volume of turn-of-the-century girl culture. They bring to mind Steve Madden ads or Bratz dolls, and Rogers’s titles refer to characters from “Clone High” (2002–03), an animated TV series about great leaders—Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, Abraham Lincoln, et al.—who, genetically resurrected, spend their teens together at a high school on a top-secret military facility. The show spoofs live-action high-school dramas by amplifying familiar anxieties in figures of world-historical importance. Columbine is tragedy, “Clone High” is comedy, one is news and the other fiction, yet both offer fodder for fantasizing about being a hero or a victim. Rogers weaves the two together in a cocoon of melancholic hope. —Brian Droitcour

Pictured: View of Bunny Rogers's installation “Columbine Cafeteria” at Greenspon Gallery, New York.

More from the Lookout

Florine Stettheimer

at the Jewish Museum,
through Sept. 24
1109 5th Avenue

“Body, Self, Society: Chinese Performance Photography of the 1990s”

at the Walther Collection Project Space,
through Aug. 19
526 West 26th Street, Suite 718

Roni Horn

at Hauser & Wirth,
through Jul. 29
548 West 22nd Street

Henri Cartier-Bresson

at the Rubin Museum of Art,
through Sept. 4
150 West 17th Street


Lygia Pape

at the Met Breuer,
through Jul. 23
945 Madison Avenue


Georgia O’Keeffe

at Brooklyn Museum,
through Jul. 23
200 Eastern Parkway

“Self-Interned, 1942: Noguchi in Poston War Relocation Center”

at the Isamu Noguchi Museum,
through Jan. 7
9-01 33rd Road, Long Island City

Submit your e-mail to receive insider information from the art world every week.