Despite its beautiful and festive appearance, the subject matter of Kienholz’s show at Pace Gallery is very dark. Lit up like a happy carousel, you quickly notice that it’s something like a giant island with the flags of the world placed deliberately around its perimeter. Up close are tiny dioramas evoking the futility of war. Toy soldiers protect toy trucks being loaded with American dollars, an upturned war-horse has roller skates on two hoofs and ice skates on the other two all while the general still tries to command his army from his fallen, now ridiculous horse.
Created by husband and wife collaborators, Edward Kienhoolz and Nancy Reddin Kienholz, their work addresses the dark side of Western society, confronting religion, politics war and death.
A powerful political statement no matter what your views, the sheer strength of this singular installation in the large gallery space gives all visitors a moment to pause and think about the world.Kienholz: The Ozymandias Parade / Concept Tableaux. Pace Gallery. 510 West 25th Street. New York. Closes December 22nd, 2012