Calibrating Wonder * by Sean O'Toole for ArtForum

In a future history of South African art, Cape Town–based artist Daniella Mooney should receive due credit for her exploratory, left-field sculpture practice, which, since her Terry Riley–quoting BFA show in 2009, has eschewed the dominant rubrics of postcolonial identity and spectacular monumentality. Her contribution to this showcase of sixteen artists, organized by designer and artist Lyall Sprong, includes Three New Wands I, II, and III (all works cited, 2017), eccentric fabrications in wood of a wand she made as an adolescent. Mooney’s attenuated and bulbous pieces are hopelessly clumsy, but as speculative objects they arrest the imagination. In a clipped catalogue note, Sprong refers to them as “personal tools,” an interpretation he extends to all the aggregated objects installed in alcoves fashioned from hanging sheets of tinfoil: paintings, works on paper, video, flower pressings, and all manner of soft, mirrored, kinetic, flying, or sonic sculptures. Read more here: