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LISA LAPINSKI, installation
A onetime philosophy student who’s willing to get her hands dirty, Lisa Lapinski makes elaborate sculptures that embody a kind of cognitive dissonance. Nightstand, a room-size construction debuting in the Biennial, implodes and reconfigures traditional Shaker furniture to suggest the frenzied, psychedelic outbursts of religious ecstasy found in Shaker gift drawings. The piece, her most ambitious project to date, took more than a year to complete; to acquire the skills necessary to build it out of walnut, Lapinski entered a woodworking program at a junior college outside L.A. “The retired engineers felt sorry for me, because it took me so long to catch on,” she says, laughing, “but I can build my own kitchen cabinets now.” It’s an unusually workmanlike approach for an artist whose solo shows, at Richard Telles in L.A., have referenced Rimbaud and Wittgenstein. Artforum critic Bruce Hainley credits the 38-year-old, who received a Guggenheim fellowship in 2004, with “providing new thought about what sculpture might be.”


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