New York Times, March 5, 2004

ART IN REVIEW: Brian Jungen
By Holland Cotter

The young Canadian artist Brian Jungen makes his one-man New York debut with an installation that fills most of this gallery. The piece is in the form of a basketball court, but not one that would meet N.B.A. regulations. It stands a few feet from the floor and its surface is pieced together from many small units with cut-out rectangular holes.

The units are the tops of industrial sewing-machine tables, the empty holes the spaces where the machines would fit; each table is supported by metal legs. Mr. Jungen placed 200 such tables edge to edge to form a continuous surface, adjusting the arrangement to incorporate a row of columns that bisects the gallery's interior. Hand-painted lines identify the results as a playing court, though viewed from above -- you can climb ladders to do so -- it is also an abstract chart of solids and voids.

Several of Mr. Jungen's past installations have referred to his American Indian background. This piece, however, is Harlem-specific. It is about a popular sport played on network television and neighborhood streets. And it is about a sport that is also an industry, one that generates unimaginable wealth, and potential pitfalls, for a few, and leaves most of its audience with hoop dreams and sweatshop wages. In the end the installation is visually a little too mild to sustain prolonged interest. But it is clearly the work of a young artist with high-content ideas and refreshingly low-tech ways of giving them form.


On View