Horror logo

Bodies of Work

by Brad Foster 3 months ago in art


Bodies of Work
Photo by Dim 7 on Unsplash

“Bodies of Work”

The sculptures of Lawrence Cartusian

Renlar Symposium of the Arts, Hoostin University, New York

April 26 – June 2, 2018

June 6, 2018


Installation view:

“Bodies of Work: The sculptures of Lawrence Cartusian”

Renlar Symposium of the Arts, April 26 – June 2, 2018

(Our apologies – Due to unforeseen circumstances, this photograph is not available)


After a hiatus from his disastrous show at the Plormar Centre in 2010, Lawrence Cartusian returns in full force. The art world had dismissed him, following the scathing reviews garnered by his controversial and – let's face it – uninspired exhibition. When last reported, he had been working in a decrepit townhouse located in a rampageous neighborhood. Purveyors of great art will be pleased to know that he has rediscovered his talent. Cartusian's theme: The very neighborhood in which he lives.

“Bodies of Work” opens with the sculpture of a man commandeering a squadron of tiny, vicious dogs. Several are relieving themselves on the front yard, while others are forever captured in the act of destroying the lawn decor. The absence of baggies and the man's posture accentuates the owner's arrogant, dismissive air as he appears ready to leave the mess behind him. The wall text states that this is “Mister Carmodie: Taking his Hellions on Their Daily Walk.”. The details of this piece are simply exquisite.

Passing a sign that apologizes for the faintly unpleasant but harmless odor (due to the special lacquer applied to the exhibits), the next work depicts an angry woman frozen in the midst of pounding on a door. Eerily life-like in her rage, she clutches a thick manual labeled “Homeowners Rules and Regulations”, in comically disjointed script. “Ms. Telcher: Causing Yet Another Interruption Over a Petty Rule” reads the wall text.

This one is peculiar – it's almost as if the man had been flash-frozen in the act of operating his state-of-the-art snowblower. The chasmic discharge chute is aimed at a Cyclopean mound of snow that nearly reaches the exhibit hall's ceiling. An arrow-shaped sign points slightly up, indicating that Lawrence Cartusian's car is buried deep within, never to be excavated. The placard by this sculpture displays “Dr. Mulligan's Final Plow”

The visitor now arrives at the culmination of Cartusian's masterpiece – a full cut-away of adjoined townhouses. The house in the middle contains a representation of the artist himself, puzzling over a block of stone. This particular sculpture is the low point of the exhibit, given its glaring lack of realism. It nearly mars the show with its pedestrian nature.

Fortunately, the artist restores verisimilitude in the adjacent scenes. Facing the cut-away, the house on the left is inhabited by a band of young men. Their lead singer screams into the microphone stand and plays a double necked electric guitar with obvious fervor. Their wall text reads “The Telcher Boys: No-Hit Wonders”

To the right, “Old Man Fitzroy: Binge-Watching All Night Long”. The aforementioned Mr. Fitzroy caught in an eternal snore with his head lolled back on a tattered armchair. A television with large dials and knobs sits two feet away, teetering on a rickety card table. Twin yellow streams flow from the bottom of the chair into a stagnant lake by the artist's shared wall. Luckily for visitors, Cartusian did not include olfactory devices in this work.

The only experience that impinged on visitors' enjoyment are the uncalled-for intrusions of several detectives from the local precinct. Relentless, they pestered those in attendance by inquiring after Cartusian's whereabouts. Overheard, it seems several of his neighbors have gone missing.

In summary, Cartusian masterfully captures the chaos of his life and workspace. How this artist, amid the myriad of interruptions and distractions, managed to engrave the intricacies of life will truly inspire generations of sculptors.

Jeremy Grestos

Professor and Chair, Department of Modern Arts


Brad Foster
Brad Foster
Read next: I See You
Brad Foster

Hello and I hope you enjoy my stories - thank you for visiting in any case! May you and yours keep healthy and safe in these trying times.

See all posts by Brad Foster

Find us on socal media

Miscellaneous links