The strangest, and also the funniest, pieces in the show are the monuments -- also constructed of tire rubber -- that Turk has placed in the gallery’s four corners. Like the Washington Monument, Turk’s obelisks sport that familiar spire-form but have all been rendered in black rubber. “The Aggrandizer” is a sad, partly deflated rubber obelisk attached to a bicycle pump for a quick infusion of air. The piece offers a funny riposte to the proud, unassailable obelisk form. Turk takes a similarly humorous road in a series of four works on paper formed from rubbings of those metal car plaques. “Cosmos” for instance, forms its perimeter shape from Pioneer, Aries and Mercury car plaques. “Menagerie” is formed from metal signs for Pinto, Lynx, Bronco and Colt.
Turk’s point is that for all that talk of animals, exploration and wild, open vistas in those aspirational car names, we are contained and cosseted explorers, locked within perimeters, stuck on our asphalt tracks.
While all parts of the show don’t always gel perfectly, there is an ambition and a grappling with big ideas that marks this as a significant step in Turk’s career.
Bottom line: A clever, visually appealing expansion of the artist's fixations.
“Gregor Turk: Terminal Velocity”
Through July 14. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. $5 nonmembers; $1 students with ID; free to members. The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, 75 Bennett St., Suite A-2, Atlanta. 404-367-8700, www.mocaga.org.