Using paper, bamboo, acrylic, nylon, and cotton, Jacob Hashimoto's new work at Mary Boone Gallery evokes nature's most delicate forms: butterfly wings, flower petals, blades of grass, and ripples of a cloud. At times, the art seems almost weightless, as if it aspires to the ethereal condition of air and light.
The basic building block of Mr. Hashimoto's pieces — five wall-mounted reliefs and a gallery-filling installation —is a sort of Japanese kite, formed with bamboo twigs and a translucent nylon or cotton sheet. A few inches in diameter, these tiny forms assume several shapes, and some are decorated with collage-like applications of paint and cut paper.
In his wall-mounted works, several kites are linked in a vertical chain and suspended between two horizontal rows of wooden pegs alongside numerous similar kite totems. The result is a layered structure whose blend of surface effect and spatial recession combines elements of painting and sculpture. A mixture of lush pattern and negative space, the work's impression might be compared to that of the leafy upper reaches of a tree, which can seem either thick and impenetrable or mostly open, depending on which way the wind is blowing.
Though they all start from this basic form, each wall piece embodies individual characteristics and explores different formal issues. "Disparate Achromic Geometries" (2006) contrasts irregular polygons with perfect circles and ovals, while "Uncolored Landscape With White Stripes" (2006) probes the subtle tonal distinction between translucent nylon and opaque white paint. The difference is hard to detect at first, but when you spot it, a pattern of stripes emerges, like a minimalist white-on-white painting. In the more representational "Tall Panicgrass" (2006), a field of grass and flowers stands below a sky of white, aqua, and dark blue — the gentlest storm clouds you are ever likely to see.
The show's largest work is an installation called "Nuvole" (2006), Italian for "clouds." Hundreds of circular kites, dangling one per string from the ceiling, coalesce into a dense, softly rolling white mass that cascades through a side gallery from an upper corner on one wall to a lower corner on the opposite side of the room. As the viewer moves through the space, the kites rustle in response. In this way, Mr. Hashimoto transfers some of the powerful immateriality of his art to his viewer. He allows you to be the wind.
Isidro Blasco is another artist who blends two- and three-dimensional mediums. But whereas Mr. Hashimoto creates lyrical abstract landscapes and skyscapes, Mr. Blasco's photo-sculptures are gritty, political explorations of contemporary urban life.
The artist's unusual works begin with a photograph. The image is digitized, manipulated through Photoshop, and then cut into component parts that are mounted on wooden boards. These are in turn assembled into a bulky installation, held together with nails and, in some cases, clamps, that is part photograph and part sculptural collage. While the original image remains visible, its simple perspective and composition are complicated in a Cubist composition of overlapping, free-floating planes.
The largest and most dramatic work in the show is "Side Building" (2006), a freestanding piece (most others hang from walls) that depicts Mr. Blasco's apartment building in Queens. This simple brick structure on a quiet tree-lined street becomes a place of tension in the artist's fantastic re-creation. An exterior corner juts forward like the hull of a ship, while to either side the walls recede at an acute angle more reminiscent of the Flatiron Building than a typical city structure. In addition to this play on depth and perspective, various Photoshop effects further obscure the image's surface. A row of windows morphs into soupy nondescription, handwritten scribbles near an open window suggest a profanity-laced tirade inside, and another window is inexplicably lit with orange flames.
This ball of fire, which looks like a still from an action movie, is an unfortunate recurrent feature of many of these works. Mr. Blasco seems to intend his explosions to highlight the anxiety caused by the current political climate. Instead they merely distract from his work's true interest: its formal experimentation.
More successful, therefore, is quieter work like "Laundry Room With Mirror" (2006), an image of a basement laundry room. While most of the partitions in the picture plane hew to edges in the photograph, delineating the jutting corner of a washing machine or emphasizing the grooves where walls and ceiling meet, a few cut along an invented axis, for instance, severing a window pane in half. With this unexpected incision, Mr. Blasco underscores the tension between utilitarian and aesthetic depictions of space, reminding us that art and life require different forms. But he also discovers a means to enact violence that is simultaneously subtler and more alarming than his farcical pyrotechnics.
Hashimoto until February 10 (745 Fifth Ave. at 57th Street, 212-752-2929); Blasco until February 3 (532 W. 24th St., between Tenth and Eleventh avenues, 212-741-9955).