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05 May 2018

Hipkiss: Bulwark

Drawing Center

Reviewed by William Corwin

Thirteen lean, tall, glimmering drawings comprised of circular images hang like so many oversized pearl necklaces as if in the showroom of Van Cleef and Arpels or a shop of similar tony ilk. The artist duo of Alpha and Chris Mason, called Hipkiss, have crafted these wonders, part of a series called The Towers (2015-18), each piece an example of a mythological flora in seven sections, festooned with seeds, pods, bulbs, buds, and thorns, seething mini-ecosystems of graphite highlighted with gold and silver paint and gilded appliqué.

While these plants have some of the ferocity of Bosch and Bruegel, and the sharp points and mysterious hungry voids of Audrey, the extraterrestrial flower from Little Shop of Horrors, they mostly seem to be the overgrown border illustrations of a wondrous, now lost, illumined book of hours, full of filigree, attracting the occasional butterfly, bee, or moth to alight for a sip of nectar.

Exhibition Hipkiss: Bulwark link
Start date 06 Apr 2018
End date 12 Aug 2018
Presenter Drawing Center link
Venue 35 Wooster Street, New York City, NY, USA map
Image Hipkiss, from left: Bulwark #2, #3, #6, #8, and #9 from The Towers, 2017, graphite, silver ink, silver tape, and metal leaf on Fabriano 4 paper, 89 x 16 inches, each, courtesy of the artists

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