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The New York Times

Weekend
September 8th, 1993
Siobhan Liddell at Thread Waxing Space

By Roberta Smith
 
Siobhan Liddell can make art out of almost nothing. She fashions shy, nearly invisible wall pieces and sculptures from thread, string, cut-out paper, clumps of papier-mâché and plastic straws strung end to end. “Give me a piece of string and I’ll build you a wall, she writes in the catalogue to this exhibition, and indeed, one piece in this show of more than 20 works is a few hundred feet of red thread that loops its way across the gallery, ending in a pile in one corner.

Ms. Liddell’s art would probably fare better under more pristine viewing conditions, but even so it often achieves, an attenuated poetry of the everyday. It pushes the already understated efforts of an artist like Richard Tuttle to further extremes, making economic and ecological points in the process. Such points would wear thin if her work didn’t frequently offer an unexpected beauty and a series of delicate yet easily deconstructed perceptual illusions.

In such subtleties as cast shadows and reflected color (achieved with little touches of paint, mostly on the backs of the paper pieces), Ms. Liddell delves into the nature of visual perception in ways not so far removed train the the work of Robert Irwin, James Turrell and Fred Sandback. A series of watercolors indicates that her work often begins as quirky little marks on paper and corroborates the suspicion that despite its flirtations with invisibility, it exists very much for the eye’s pleasure.