‘Aaron Bobrow: Electric Bathing’ at Andrea Rosen Gallery

Installation view. (Courtesy Andrea Rosen Gallery)

Installation view. (Courtesy Andrea Rosen Gallery)

Just how resilient is the rectangle? How many things can it be set around, and for how many years, before it loses the power to transubstantiate? For his naively broad-shouldered New York solo debut at Andrea Rosen Gallery, Aaron Bobrow scouted New York construction sites from which to wheedle, barter or borrow lengths of “debris mesh,” the tight and complex weave of steel wire that protects pedestrians from falling debris. The mesh is marked with three long parallel stripes, usually orange but sometimes sun-faded to the color of pale butter, and snagged with little rips and imperfections or, in the case of Untitled (substitution)—so titled because the artist had to trade perplexed construction workers a different section of mesh for it—two big triangular rips like eyeholes. But those stripes are pulled out of parallel when Mr. Bobrow stretches the material on enormous, double-barred wooden stretchers that look like doors or long sections of wall from some Viking stockade. (Two pieces, Untitled (exhumation) and Untitled (exoneration), are more than 20 feet long.) Across the street at Andrea Rosen Gallery’s other space, meanwhile, Jacob Kassay, in collaboration with two older artists, Olivier Mosset and Lawrence Weiner, orchestrates an even more self-referentially self-contained series of concentric rectangles, pairing one of his own framed scrap canvas pieces, a vertical rectangle with a square bite taken out of the bottom-right corner (Untitled, 2012), with Mr. Weiner’s 1968 piece, on loan from the Museum of Modern Art, A 36”x36” removal to the lathing or support wall of plaster or wallboard from a wall. Mr. Kassay’s piece is hung on, and Mr. Weiner’s cut out of, Mr. Mosset’s 2013 Yellow Wall, which is also exactly what it sounds like. As with the mesh, the transparency is only apparent: you can see right through it, but it’s still not clear if there’s anything behind it. (Through March 23, 2013)