The opticality of sculpture is a problem that won’t go away, and it has everything to do with the viability of painting. When Judd said that he wanted to make an art that was neither painting nor sculpture, I doubt he realized that the best he could ever get was an art that was both. When I saw Gedi Sibony’s installation at the new Museum a couple of years ago I was immediately struck by how painting-like it was. The viewer is invited, though not forced, to take a specific position in front of the work. In this case the box in the foreground is a kind of lectern or viewing post, or an architect’s drafting table; the “view” is of a painted plane.
It reminds me a lot of early Caro, works such as “Early One Morning,” which are also very much about painting.
But, with parts that lean on each other and hold each other up, the more obvious reference is Serra. The parody of Serra is transparent, the parody of Caro may be less accessible to a contemporary audience, but the combination of the two is very smart, because they are supposed to be antithetical. I feel that today the optical/pictorial aspect is more interesting than the material/tactile; that Caro looks fresher than Serra. But then maybe Serra’s oil stick drawings are what we should be looking at.