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Justin H. Long

Sinisa Kukec, Launch Thy Dreadnought of Consciousness, 2013. Wood, Epoxy, and Tempera, 80"x40". Courtesy of Spinello Projects.

Sinisa Kukec
Spinello Projects
February 14-April 6, 2013

Resin is the name of the game and Sinisa Kukec is not afraid of it. Of the two levels at Spinello Projects, the ground floor is the darker realm, consisting of spinning mirrors splattered with ejaculative-esque droplets and cozied around “Less Whoring More Loving” a Hugo Montoya-inspired, gorilla fur-covered love seat. (Miami is a hub for the adult film industry and perhaps this is the depressive core to which we are being led, or simply our own narcissism?) A neon squiggle in a glass cube reeks of nostalgia, as does “Unlike real magic… and the illusion of disappearance… The arrival of a clown exercise a beneficial influence upon the health of ones own magic to create the illusion of being…,” a tall monolith of glittery orbs drooling over an antique speaker system playing vinyls of Iggy, Ozzy, and Richard Strauss’ Also Spake Zaruthustra. The abundance of mirror and shine draw the viewer into a state of wonder, where they are abandoned, wondering where to go from there.

Upstairs the mood changes significantly with a new take at critiquing minimalism. A wall-mounted color field diptych, mirroring its colors at the intersection of a shape Ellsworth Kelly may have never used shadows a pour painting trapped forever in a state of process. The pour painting shares a large dimple with another duo of stretched raw linen that remain the most minimalist yet. These dimples are described as Gravity Wells—sinkholes of ideas in which the universe expands upwards to escape them. Could these wells be the next step that the minimalists were looking for before Thomas Lawson’s Last Exit: Painting deemed them all extinct? Regardless, the pieces on the second floor step their way through the history of post-war painting and prove resin can be a beautiful supplement to oil. The divide between the first and second floor is a must—the art upstairs works as an acceptable series while the naughty seedbed of romantic, nostalgic sensationalism can run amuck down below.

Sinisa Kukec_Installation_Love Like The Universe_Spinello Projects 2013

Installation view of LOVELIKETHEUNIVERSE. Photo courtesy Spinello Projects.

Kukec is a romantic, spilling references and inspiration from every corner, but he lacks the ability to consolidate them into a cohesive thought. Opening the door to a dialogue between the likes of Morris Louis and Luciano Fontana is a wonderful consideration, but may have been more relevant 30 years ago. The Minimals aren’t really cranking them out these days. That said, perhaps we are seeing the beginning of a nouveau-neo-minimalist trend. With its slick surfaces, symbolism, and classic-art tropes a plenty, LOVELIKETHEUNIVERSE reads a bit all over the place. The exhibition looks like art, although the confusion from the fun house below detracts from what could have been a solid show. Through the glitz and glamor of it all, a stronger unification of concept would have taken us further into the breadth of the universe.