Art In America

Naoki Sutter-Shudo

at Bodega,
167 Rivington Street

Childlike delights clash with grown-up forms in “Parade,” Naoki Sutter-Shudo’s first solo show at Bodega. A squat square plinth in the center of the gallery supports a handful of toylike sculptures (all works 2017). Theorie, Truth Trolley, and Theft distort the words of their titles into three-dimensional forms, like concrete poems brought to life, and present sober ideas as a sort of game. The red wood letters of Truth, for example, serve as supports for a small yellow cart transporting four well-loved stuffed animals. In the works hanging on the walls, the Paris-born, Los Angeles–based artist experiments with the ornamentation of the everyday, applying tassels, dead bees, fake flowers, and plastic bread bags to shadowboxes reminiscent of Joseph Cornell. The C-prints set as the backdrops of these pieces present innocuous still lifes of Sutter-Shudo’s stovetop (Eat well or rest easy or) or dresser decked with neat stacks of coins (Cheers from now and a thousand years). In Bonbons Rivington, perched on the ledge of the gallery’s front desk, jellybeans fill streamlined brass and silver-plated containers shaped like pears, apples, and pomegranates. The unassuming luxury of these vessels recalls the “de-functionalizing” tendency pervasive in the 1930s and ’40s—the urge to make functional objects aerodynamic when they didn’t need to be. Sutter-Shudo’s embellished sculptures illuminate the problem anew with puerile glee. —Julia Wolkoff


Pictured: Naoki Sutter-Shudo: Truth Trolley, 2017, wood, enamel, dog toys, hardware, plastic, and rubber, 11½ by 13 by 15½ inches. Courtesy Bodega, New York.

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