15

WEDNESDAY

You rarely hear a woman’s figure described as “pneumatic” anymore; for that matter, you rarely hear talk of a woman’s “figure” anymore. But ever since Nancy Davidson discovered the sculptural versatility of resilient, thick-skinned weather balloons a decade ago, the stale metaphor by which an inflatable life vest became a “Mae West” has once again seemed au courant. Bulging at their restraints, formally both truncated and self-sufficient, Davidson’s buffoonish, hermetic constructions bear roughly the same relation to the human body as Peter Cain’s absurdly attenuated cars did to auto bodies. They push lust’s buttons and then leave us puzzling over why we’d get exercised about such obscure objects of desire. For Double Exposure—Davidson’s contribution to the current Corcoran Biennial—a giant red bifurcated balloon dangles in the museum’s atrium like a fishing lure dropped by a trickster god who’s only too sure of our appetites. The artist will blow a little air in our direction when she discusses her work at 7 p.m. at the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s Hammer Auditorium, 500 17th St. NW. $15. (202) 639-1770. (Glenn Dixon)