‘Jory Rabinovitz: Eighty Three’ at Martos Gallery

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Installation view of ‘Jory Rabinovitz: Eighty Three’ at Martos. (Courtesy Martos Gallery)

Thin, rumbled snakes of fabric, winning riffs on Claes Oldenburg and Franz West, dance atop boxes and spill out of pipes that are made of copper and zinc and riddled with holes, seeming to have shed the pennies that are strewn on the ground around them. Jory Rabinovitz used those hard-to-love coins to produce his works, illicitly melting them to make the pedestals and pipes, and refining and oxidizing them to produce pigments to dye his textiles. (Coins from before 1983, made predominantly of copper, offer up verdigris; later ones, after the federal government exchanged pricy copper for zinc, yield a coral white.)

Balancing in the gallery is Current (Creditor) (all works 2014), a 10-foot-tall pole made of shining copper, with green fabric streaming from its top. It looks like a whip, both fearsome and comical. Another pipe, Current (Debtor), is, in stark contrast, stuck to the wall, spewing its fabric to the floor (and, naturally, made of cheap zinc). Again and again, Mr. Rabinovitz uses elegant goofiness as a Trojan horse for trenchant criticism concerning how value and meaning are created and assigned. He charms, then prods. This is one of the freshest outings by a young artist this season and a welcome surprise.

(Through June 7, 2014) ‘Jory Rabinovitz: Eighty Three’ at Martos Gallery