Work Hard | The New York Times
Apr 16 2015
Cultural institutions devoted to national patrimonies are out of step with today’s art world, which argues for global unity (even if that is illusory). But the Swiss Institute, in a space once occupied by Jeffrey Deitch on Wooster Street, is an exceptional case. In “Work Hard,” Valentin Carron, who represented Switzerland at the 2013 Venice Biennale, continues to probe the question of “Swiss-ness” with a range of curious and fabulous objects (in other words, who cares if they are actually Swiss). A small kinetic installation by Jean Tinguely hangs opposite bunny ears carved from wood by Claudia Comte, in the style of Henry Moore; watercolor drawings by the visionary artist Marguerite Burnat-Provins look like gruesome fairy-tale illustrations, while Denis Savary’s “Alma (After Kokoschka)” (2007) riffs on the life-size doll that the artist Oskar Kokoschka had made of Alma Mahler after she left him for the architect Walter Gropius. Kokoschka lived with the doll for a year, then beheaded it.