“Rachel Harrison Life Hack”

“Each sphinxlike amalgam puts a minimal number of discrete components to maximal use, providing humorous commentary on subjects ranging from politics to pop culture to art history.”

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, through January 12, 2020

While countless artists today take up the legacy of assemblage, few do it with as much panache as Rachel Harrison. Her trademark sculptures combine distinctly banal items—mannequins, doll parts, rubber masks, wigs, phones on selfie sticks—with large, brightly painted objects suggesting boulders or plinths. Each sphinxlike amalgam puts a minimal number of discrete components to maximal use, providing humorous commentary on subjects ranging from politics to pop culture to art history. The artist’s first retrospective brings together some one hundred sculptures, room-size installations, and photo-based works from the past twenty-five years.

Rachel Harrison, Hoarders, 2012, wood, polystyrene; chicken wire; cement; cardboard; acrylic; metal pail; flat screen monitor; wireless headphones; runway carpet; and Hoarders Video, digital video, color, sound, 10:39 min (2012); overall dimensions variable, sculpture 61 x 47 x 45 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali, New York. Photograph: John Berens.