Annette Lemieux’s work looks simple and spare, but it’s actually quite dense stuff. The artist, who won the MFA’s Maud Morgan Prize this year, is stripping iconic imagery from film and literature to its hollow, lonely core.
The spacing of the pieces around the Lubin Gallery and Lemieux’s rehashing of old images highlights how much alienation is encoded within them. Most chilling (and ironically so, due to their medium) are two, adult-scale creepy inflatables modeled on the clown balloon with which Elsie Beckmann is lured to her death by a serial killer in the classic Fritz Lang film M .
They barely move, but are distinctly not still, hovering above with all of the tension of a cat about to pounce—but never pouncing—on a mouse that is you.
All of it rolls the unresolved terror embedded in Western modernism forward into the present. She leaves it with us like Elsie’s little ball in the grass in M when she’s abducted.
Show runs until 3.4.18. Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. mfa.org