Judith Hopf makes classic sculptures with narrative undertones that transform everyday objects into afterimages of a perceived reality. Hopf makes initial contact via aesthetics without sliding into triviality and employs humor to expose the dichotomy between a remembered on-line presence and experienced reality.
Her pears and walls are lessons in negation. Brick and mortar frustrate the organic quality and fragility of a pear whilst the primary function of a wall, as either a place of shelter and security or in its capacity to divide and enclose, is negated by neatly removing a substantially large round chunk. The negative is placed, evidence-like, where it might have naturally fallen and thus employing the eye as an accomplice for a neat and satisfying repair.
Hopf’s minimal Tongue Sculptures are forays into bodily gestures that the mind may form via computer generated body parts. Here, material and color offer clues to the artist’s intentions. Bright red, and made from impossibly thin sheets of steel, they evoke the flat screens that our bodies are increasingly tethered to and percolate a hazy familiarity with a redacted reality. They commune, in various stages of cut-out, with a large architectural wall painting as if Donald Judd, Alexander Calder and Sol LeWitt converge. Whether or not they are having a jolly picnic or a serious and cultured discussion, the artist does not say. But Hopf does an excellent job, as both professor at the influential Städelschule in Frankfurt and as an artist, to be continually asking two important questions: What is contemporary art and how do you come to an understanding about yourself in relation to art? At Metro Pictures through October 5.