Recurrence, a five-artist exhibition curated by Luisa Aguilar Solis and Georgia Horn now at Fridman Gallery, takes its name from Italo Calvino’s 1968 novel, Daughters of the Moon. Calvino imagines a world in which capitalist society’s obsession with consumption and novelty, and the cycle of obsolescence that inevitably follows, reaches a fever pitch: People decide that the moon, cratered as it is, is past its prime, and set out to demolish and replace it. The curators of Recurrence propose that the included artists’ work resonates with many of the book’s concerns—if not with the phases of the moon itself, then with the waxing and waning of art-historical reference points. In doing so, they perhaps unwittingly reveal just how short contemporary art’s cycle of recurrence seems to be, which merits discussion.
Lauren Fensterstock’s and Edgar Arcenaux’s works depict, or at least suggest, moonlight. Fensterstock’s Claude Glass Cube 1 & 2 consists of two glass-topped black cubes, the interior sides of which are overgrown with vegetation—leaves, flowers, vines—made from thick, dark gray cardboard and black felt, giving the effect of a moonlit, modernist terrarium. Arcenaux presents Detroit Steel, a series of nine paintings depicting massive geometric slabs, apparently arranged with purpose from various angles in the manner of a topographical study, in what seems a nighttime desert expanse (though it could be lunar).