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Misty Burruel: Newspace.

In her second solo show at Newspace, Misty Burruel persisted in her attempt to engineer a decorative Pop-psychedelic Art of the Uncanny, here focusing on how representations of nature may become emblems of confusion, desire, aspiration, and tweaked Romanticism.

Rim of the World, 2006, shared the title of Burruel's show and formed the sculptural centerpiece of the main gallery. Modeled after a topographical map See under Cadastral. - Topographical surveying. See under Surveying.

See also: Topographic
 of three sites near Highway 18 in the San Bernardino Mountains San Bernardino Mountains, part of the Coast Range, S Calif., extending c.60 mi (100 km) NW and SE through San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Notable peaks are San Bernardino Mt. (10,630 ft/3,240 m) and Mt. San Gorgonio (11,485 ft/3,501 m). , it is made from layered sheets of contoured birch plywood. Irregularly shaped but roughly the size of a boardroom table, it is elevated off the floor on short legs, putting it at the right height for child's play. Surrounding this work were five untitled wall-mounted sculptures, all also (rather improbably) dated 2006. Each of these began life as a stock molded-foam mule deer mule deer

Large-eared deer (Odocoileus hemionus) of western North America that lives alone or in small groups at high altitudes in summer and lower altitudes in winter. Mule deer stand 3–3.
 (a breed native to the area) of the sort available from taxidermy taxidermy (tăk`sĭdûr'mē), process of skinning, preserving, and mounting vertebrate animals so that they still appear lifelike.  suppliers.

On to three of the heads, Burruel has grafted flat, round ears, so that the creatures suggest crosses between deer, hyenas, and comic-book mice. Coated in white paint that gives them a porcelainlike surface, the heads and necks have been hand-decorated, as if by a china painter, with polka dots (derived from the balloon design on Wonder Bread packaging), birds, and dogwood dogwood or cornel (kôr`nəl), shrub or tree of the genus Cornus, chiefly of north temperate and tropical mountain regions, characteristically having an inconspicuous flower surrounded by large, showy bracts which  flowers, and a repeated motif of three conjoined conjoined /con·joined/ (kon-joind´) joined together; united.


joined together.

conjoined monsters
two deformed fetuses fused together.
 circles that looks like Mickey Mouse's internationally recognizable silhouette. Brushed on in boyish blues and girly girl·y  
Variant of girlie.
 pinks, these motifs also suggest dividing and multiplying cells, or the spread of an infection. The trophies are mounted on elaborate plaques cut from plywood into profiles of "natural" deer that double as impossible shadows.

Two other works, one a diorama, the other a trophy, each also sporting markings that appear at once decorative and pathological, take more ghoulish ghoul  
1. One who delights in the revolting, morbid, or loathsome.

2. A grave robber.

3. An evil spirit or demon in Muslim folklore believed to plunder graves and feed on corpses.
 and goofy turns. The diorama features a creepily headless and undersize deer standing on a drift of faux snow. The trophy, hung on a heart-shaped plaque, represents a mule deer, though being just a neck and shoulders, it is absent both prize head and prize meat. Providing surrogate gore, and playing off the stump reference, Burruel has painted the chopped necks of both animals with the rings of a cut tree. In a side gallery, the artist presented Kamikaze kamikaze (kä'məkä`zē) [Jap.,=divine wind], the typhoon that destroyed Kublai Khan's fleet, foiling his invasion of Japan in 1281. , 2005, a post-and-lintel balance beam painted in cartoonish woodgrain, and topped by models of the severed front quarters of two miniature horses (each consisting of two legs, a neck, and a chest, with no head and no behind). Adorned with a pattern of oversized o·ver·size  
1. A size that is larger than usual.

2. An oversize article or object.

adj. o·ver·size also o·ver·sized
Larger in size than usual or necessary.
 flies, they face in opposite directions, as if pulling apart from, or backing into, a problematic unity.


The oddest work in the show, Kamikaze was also the most ambitious and rewarding, partly because it most engaged its dynamic potential as sculpture, strangely evoking David Smith and Anthony Caro. It also better transcended the dependence upon readily available and overly familiar forms, and the tendency to aim for easy targets, that limit the other work. Rim of the World has the same potential but is underdeveloped, and here played scenic backdrop. Burruel's attempt to hyperbolize the parasitic and distorted relationship that culture often has with nature depends upon, and in her more successful pieces capitalizes on, flashes of familiarity. But it loses out to that familiarity when, instead of ensnaring the viewer in an interestingly sticky web of references, it leaves behind an all-too-clear trail of identifiable sources.
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Author:Miles, Christopher
Publication:Artforum International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2006
Previous Article:Chris Martin: Daniel Weinberg.
Next Article:Jesus Martinez Oliva: Sala Veronicas.

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