Jorge's in the House

Surfing the art-design continuum at MoCA

But the living room is really dominated by the mixed-media sculpture Portrait of George Porcari (1995), which consists of four adjacent five-level bookshelves filled with books and a few other miscellaneous objects. Porcari was acquisitions librarian at California's Art Center School of Art and Design when Pardo studied there, and the artist worked as his assistant from 1986 to 1996. The sculpture is both a private library and a very public portrait of that library's owner.

At first, the work seems randomly assembled (it's not), and then you begin to notice that books by the same author are grouped together, including multiple works by Vladimir Nabokov, Milan Kundera, Joseph Heller, Norman Mailer, Camille Paglia, Gore Vidal, and many, many others. There are smatterings of poetry, classic literature, biographies, and books on cinema. There are also groupings based on subject matter, with the art and photography section including works by or on Picasso, Richard Estes, de Kooning, Magritte, Vermeer, Titian, Cindy Sherman, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Edward Weston, and Dennis Hopper, to cite just a few of the most recognizable names.

STEVEN BROOKE
"Jorge Pardo: House": 1 bedrm, mod kitchn, museum vw.
STEVEN BROOKE
"Jorge Pardo: House": 1 bedrm, mod kitchn, museum vw.

Details

"Jorge Pardo: House" On display through March 2 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Joan Lehman Bldg., 770 NE 125th St., North Miami. Call 305-893-6211.

For any book lover or avid reader, I suppose, perusing the collection is eerily intimate. Someone's library, whether it's books, CDs, or DVDs, says a lot about the person, and we may feel privileged to gain access to such knowledge, or we may feel as if we have violated a deeply personal space. For my part, after noticing what seemed to be an uncanny overlap between Porcari's collection and my own, I felt a creeping sense of being on display myself. "Jorge Pardo: House" got under my skin and stayed there for days. It's that kind of show.

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