Kenneth Baker
Saturday, June 19, 2004

Christian Maychack at Lind: Gregory Lind has begun to etch a gallery identity by representing younger artists whose work responds obliquely to common concerns.

The work of Bay Area sculptor Christian Maychack at Lind appears caught in a limbo of transfiguration and perhaps transubstantiation.

"Well on Their Way" (2004), on a base about waist high, resembles a two-ended vessel with wooden stoppers plugging both ends. Bulbous at one extreme, with a cylindrical stopper, the object gradually twists itself into a faceted volume at the other, capped by a squarish plug.

"Out of the Blue" (2004) sits upright on the floor like an irregular chunk of ice, but with only the casual verisimilitude of a stage-set model. Almost minimalistically simple on one side, the piece breaks into numerous facets on the other as it tapers and extends an armlike form bristled on the end with colored map pins.

Maychack's sculptures appear poised between representing and merely being. Their hand-crafted geometry updates that of minimalism with echoes of computer graphics. Reading the work's ingredients -- chicken wire, foam core, hot glue -- the eye registers little recognition. Not even the map pins and bits of finished wood give Maychack's objects a definite scale.

Their ambiguities recall the long Surrealist lineage, but they materialize uncertainties we feel about such things as bioengineering and our dwindling abilities to distinguish the natural from the fabricated.