Cross-breeding the Pop gigantism of Claes Oldenburg and the oozing precionism of Paul Thek, Michelle Segre was at the forefront of a 1990s “return to order,” sculpting imposingly meticulous wax enlargements of natural vanitases—fungal, moldy, and crepuscular. For all their prescient affinity with the ecological critiques of Roxy Paine, Keith Edmier, Alexis Rockman, et al., Segre’s works seemed to be more interested in channeling the traditional gravitas of Henry Moore. The new body of work on view at Derek Eller, however, building on several years of funkier, more fantastic surrealism, constitutes a glittering rebirth into the wild. These colorful improvisations of twisting metals, tensioned fibers, found objects and eccentric plops of plaster electrify the air around them with slightly dangerous charm and something of the ingenuous resourcefulness of toddlers’ drawings, without sacrificing an ounce of Segre’s crisp sculptural command. In some works literal bones of earlier sculptures have been delicately encrusted as relics, their fastidious density tuned like crystal receivers to the play of alien transmissions. DAVID BRODY
Michelle Segre, installation view of Lost Songs of the Filament at Derek Eller Gallery, 2012.