There’s something revelatory and even comical about the exhibit on view now at PinkComma Gallery in the South End. If you don’t know about PinkComma, allow me to introduce you to it. Curated by Chris Grimley, Michael Kubo and Mark Pasnik of Over,Under (and also the folks behind the phenomenal book that historicizes Boston City Hall, Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston), PinkComma is the firm’s exhibit space dedicated to all things design—architecture, landscape architecture, graphic design, urbanism, interior design and industrial design.
Not only is PinkComma a space dedicated to all things design, but a space dedicated to work “that may be at times politically unpalatable or financially untenable, unpopular or unacknowledged,” as curators explain on the gallery’s website. I can’t think of a more perfect space to exhibit Jennifer Bonner’s decadent architectural sandwiches than at PinkComma Gallery.
An assistant professor of architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Jennifer Bonner’s Best Sandwiches, is a small but delightfully snarky exhibit that’s sure to get you talking. Ingenious in its many subtleties, the exhibit comments on more than just architecture’s identity crisis—in my opinion, anyways. It pokes fun at an industry infatuated with trends and so much more, some of the ideas Ms. Bonner has been exploring in her conceptual work as an architect.
The nine sandwiches, along with the nine posters on display at PinkComma, are the product of one of Ms. Bonner’s many design and research projects, executed with her firm MALL (Mass Architectural Loopty Loops, or Miniature Angles and Little Lines, or Maximum Arches with Limited Liabilities)—an acronym that not only unleashes its own bit of snark unto Ms. Bonner’s work, but that also underscores the playful nature in much of it. “The acronym is a 20th century Americanism in wide circulation—Americans love their shorthand,” Ms. Bonner explains on her website. “MALL uses shortform, not to be quick or flippant, but because we can’t say that we have it all figured out yet.” This is brilliant, to say the least.
As you consider the architecture, composition and color combination of the architectural sandwiches on display—the classic grilled cheese, BLT, a scrumptious burger and other equally delicious (I think?) and eye catching creations in the gallery space—keep in mind Ms. Bonner’s Four Things to Note about Best Sandwiches, a cool, sort of manifesto that forms the basis for the sandwiches on display. Does it get any better than this? I think, not.
Are many of the works on view a little too overwhelming? Maybe. But is the exhibit astute and exhilarating? Absolutely. Everything from the neon colors to the tacky faux chrome pedestals on which the sandwiches are displayed on, should leave you with a grinning smile on your face. Maybe I’ve read too much into all the snarky remarks built into every one of the sandwiches on display, but one thing is certain, I regret not knowing about this terrific exhibit earlier or I would have written a much more thorough review.
Best Sandwiches is on view through the month of July at PinkComma Gallery- 46 Waltham St. in the South End. All images courtesy of PinkComma Gallery and Jennifer Bonner (www.studiobonner.com).