“Surprise Phone Call”

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They say part of what makes Picasso’s sculptures (now on view at MoMA) so appealing is that the modern “master” didn’t feel the same kind of pressure to perform when he experimented with three-dimensional objects as he did when he painted. There’s a similar absence of pressure in this exhibition, which exemplifies the calculated casualness that has been a hallmark of 247365’s program since the gallery opened in a closet-size space in Brooklyn in 2012. “Surprise Phone Call” makes you want to relax and act natural, with Joel Holmberg’s sculpture in the front plate-glass window offering an immediate antidote to performance anxiety. Holmberg, who works online and in digital media, has arranged microphone stands and numerous clip attachments into the kind of dense cluster journalists sometimes improvise on a politician’s podium to record an important speech. But Holmberg’s eight or so clips hold not an audio device, but a variety of solar-powered garden lamps that absorb power during the day and glow softly at night. Also glowing are five strands of hanging LED lights strung with a colorful assortment of small bouncy balls by Jessie Stead, an installation artist equally known for her music and films. The playful light art would go well with a home dance party where only your friends are watching your moves. On the floor are six sculptures by Mark DeLong, an abstract painter based in Vancouver. The branding on these cardboard boxes—for products like S.O.S. and Windex—has been sewn over with delicate starburst patterns that recall the meditative labor of needlepoint and effectively serve to recycle cast-off boxes into bright confections.

 

Pictured: Installation view of “Surprise Phone Call”; at 247365. Courtesy the artists and 247365, New York.