Art In America

Jessica Mein

at Simon Preston,
301 Broome Street

Buenos Aires-based artist Jessica Mein's last show at the gallery, in 2013, referenced neglected billboards—both their structural frameworks and graphic imagery—in colorful abstract canvases and sculptures. Mein's latest body of work, "Desvios" (Portuguese for "diversions"; Mein is Brazilian), further abstracts and manipulates architectural spaces and details. From afar, the mostly gray-toned, threadbare canvases look unidentifiably abject. But standing right in front of them, one can see that the shiny gray areas are graphite rubbings of architectural reliefs glued onto canvas, which Mein then gently and precisely attacks with an X-acto knife, shredding sections of the fabric into flimsy threads. Desvio (2016), a video presented on a vertically oriented monitor, shows digitally and manually manipulated images drawn from a billboard in Dubai and animated to look like a mutilated filmstrip running from north to south. Watching the images in the video zip by alongside the three-dimensional wall works, one gets a sense of Mein's deftness with materials, regardless of whether she works digitally, scanning and animating, or by hand. —Leigh Anne Miller

 

Pictured: View of Jessica Mein's exhibition "Desvios," 2016; at Simon Preston, New York.

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