Art In America

Pinaree Sanpitak

at Tyler Rollins,
529 West 20th Street

For the past twenty-five years, Thailand’s Pinaree Sanpitak has made spiritualized—though very humanly grounded—semi-abstract works in both two and three dimensions. She is best known for her use of the female-breast form, which appears both explicitly and in many cognate guises (images of mounds, bowls, vessels, stupas) in this show featuring dozens of deceptively simple drawings in acrylic, pastel, candle wax, and charcoal. The theme of giving and receiving, of life-enhancing personal exchange, is reinforced by a large installation of Thai floor mats and pillows. While its subdued arrangement of multi-color elements in an irregular grid could pass for a modernist composition, the piece is designed to facilitate sitting, lounging, and conversation of the most convivial sort. With a nod to the global refugee crisis, The Mats and The Pillows evokes a common Thai phrase, “one mat, one pillow,” which refers to the living conditions of recent immigrants to Thailand, many of them indigent Chinese. The notion of sanctuary is carried over to a companion installation, The Roof, a canopy of wavy, translucent swaths of silk and glass fiber, suspended high in the palm trees of the interior Winter Garden at Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey Street, through July 5. —Richard Vine


Pictured: Pinaree Sanpitak: The Vessel 6, 2000–01, charcoal and pastel on paper, 27¼ by 54 inches. Courtesy Tyler Rollins, New York.

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