William Corwin at Geary Contemporary (Millerton, New York)

White Hot Magazine | November 2022

By Jonathan Goodman

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Will Corwin is active in a number of artworld activities. He writes regularly for The Brooklyn Rail and curates contemporary art for New York City galleries. But it is most accurate to see him as a sculptor. His current exhibition of boats with ladders and his studies of female goddesses, put up in Geary Contemporary (now located upstate), shows us that the artist is fascinated with an archeological reading of the past. In his case, the past is meant to impart not only formal possibilities, but also a sense of mythic, even devotional concern with metaphysics. Boats are often metaphorical vehicles for travel of a spiritual sort, while ladders are used to support the act of ascension, appearing in the Bible and as a generally recognized symbol of rising skyward. We could read Corwin’s work as symbolic in nature, but that would diminish its evocative power. His boats, holding thin ladders, are usually made of cast black iron and are roughly twelve to eighteen inches long. Set on a large platform of thin wood in the center of the gallery, they start to feel like a fleet meant to take us to places beyond our knowledge. And the goddesses, tabletop forms in size, are contemporary interpretations of ancient maternal forms. In both sets of work, Corwin is committed to a visionary treatment of very old things.