131 Allen Street, New York
Through June 30
To architects and Chicago residents, Alan Wiener‘s resin sculpture Palace of the Clam’s Dream might evoke the distinctive scalloped plan of Bertrand Goldberg’s Marina Towers complex. While Wiener does admit admiring recent Chicago architecture—namely Studio Gang’s Aqua Tower—the sources of inspiration for his pieces tend to be more ancient, from Cistercian abbeys to the rock-carved domes of Cappadocia, Turkey, and, in the case of Palace, Japanese netsuke figures. “I like to imagine getting inside these spaces,” said Wiener, aiming to make forms whose nature is ambiguous.
Wiener pours black or white resin (aqua-resin or the white gypsum cement Hydrocal) onto flat surfaces, and after it becomes pliable he uses the new shapes as building blocks. In a show of Wiener’s work at the Lower East Side gallery Feature Inc. through June 30, sculptures at all scales are on view, along with an intriguing notebook of photograph pairings in which he works out ideas dealing with contrasting and complementary characteristics of material and form. In addition to the Feature show, Wiener’s photographic exhibition Hollow Block is on view through June 30 at Gridspace in Brooklyn, revealing the artist’s long-running fascination with lowly cinderblock.