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Review: Nadler's 'Infrastructure' holds up very well

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 16, 2010 - "Infrastructure" at Good Citizen Gallery features four new works by Arny Nadler, associate professor of art at Washington University, that continue the artist's use of basic building materials -- here, concrete and rebar -- as expressive sculptural media.

"Cast Study 1" and "Cast Study 2" are twisting, slouching concrete columns that appear bursting with pent-up energy; they bring to mind Michelangelo's marble Slaves, struggling to free themselves from the stubborn physicality of their own medium.

The surface of Nadler's works are animated too, echoing the taught sheets of plastic that once contained them, or gouged to reveal the concrete's crusty tactility.

"Rebar Study 1" and "Rebar Study 2" are arcing, wavelike forms made of strands of welded rebar. Never has this brute construction material looked so sinewy and weightless.

The latter works relate to a larger rebar piece, "Grosse Point Confluence," that the artist recently produced for the Evanston Art Center in Illinois, but their smaller scale affords a more intimate experience of their improbable grace.

Ivy Cooper, a professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, is the Beacon art critic. 

Ivy Cooper
Ivy Cooper is the Beacon visual arts reviewer and a professor of art at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.