Artist Mario Ybarra Jr. Is Delightfully Misinformed on the Mating Rituals of Squirrels

Mario Ybarra Jr.'s (2008). Photo: Courtesy of the Artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York.

The scenes unfolding among the citizens of Mario Ybarra Jr.'s "Black Squirrel Society" are surprisingly (and comically) human considering they take place atop wooden stumps. Take these two starry-eyed squirrels: He is clutching a bouquet of red roses, and is that a fresh manicure on her claws? Ybarra's characters show us the modern family in all its terror and bliss: more Six Feet Under than Beatrix Potter. Large-scale paintings of squirrels at war and at peace make up another part of the furry epic at Lehmann Maupin's Chrystie Street Gallery through August 8. —Sadye Teiser