I’m very fond of this sculpture. It feels like the inside of my brain while watching TV at 8:58 p.m. on a Wednesday. And that, when you think about it, is quite a feat for a sculpture.
The work is called “Jack Lemmon,” and it was made last year by Rachel Harrison, a brilliant artist in her mid-40s who lives and works in Brooklyn, N.Y. It’s on display in the permanent collection galleries at the Institute of Contemporary Art, on long-term loan from the benefactor Barbara Lee.
“Jack Lemmon” does everything you could ask of a sculpture, and more. It shows a recognizable figure. It’s deliriously colorful. And it has a whole array of careful — but not neurotically careful; in fact, rather delightfully insouciant — formal tensions: rhyming horizontals, a certain off-kilter lean to the left, a jaunty sense of movement.
It also boasts — and here’s where things get really good — an idiotically grinning Dick Cheney rubber mask, a nylon Puma tracksuit, a pair of reflective sunglasses, and a big, abstract blob of colorfully painted cement.
Can I explain it to you?
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