New York Photo Review
from the NYPR Archives

Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat
The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino
Soho Photo Gallery
Central Booking Magazine

Stretching Exercises
Louise Lawler
Fitting at Metro Pictures
Deiter Beinhoff
Black and White and Blue by Louise Lawler. Source: metropicturesgallery.com
Louise Lawler, "Black and White and Blue" 2007/2010

The earliest work of Louise Lawler was often an irreverent look ‘behind the scenes’ in galleries and museums around the world. Her current show at Metro Pictures continues in this vein, but has taken her approach a step further.

The images remain both bland and straight forward, but she has enlarged them to tremendous size, 300 ft wide in one instance. To reach this size she seems to have discovered that she can also alter the aspect ratio of the images in Photoshop and stretch them to any dimensions she chooses - in this case to the dimensions of the walls at Metro Pictures. What we see are really big images, with carefully considered dimensions, but with totally distorted content. Rather underwhelming at best these might be considered yet another commentary on the art world, from deep inside the institution.

The prints in this show, which cost $50,000 to $100,000 each, deserve a bit of a caveat emptor addenda. Designed to be directly applied to the wall, (essentially like that picture of the Huangguoshu waterfall at your local Chinese takeout place,) they are printed with a commercial, rather than a fine-art digital printer. As a result the color quality is poor, and a number of prints have an unpleasant color-cast to them.

Perhaps it is meant to be a commentary on the contemporary art scene, but applying larger prints to the wall is a bit like putting up wallpaper. There are clearly visible seams where each roll overlaps the previous one– some starting to visibly lift only a week after the show opened. Irregularities on the surface of the walls behind the prints also contribute to the critique.

Finally, these prints are not for people who intend to move at any time, ever. They are essentially like frescoes. You would not have a very usable image if you decide to peel it off the wall and move it to the bedroom. But then again, maybe that’s the point.

Louise Lawler
Fitting at Metro Pictures


Metro Pictures
519 W 24th St. Ground Fl
Chelsea         Map

212 206 7100
metropicturesgallery.com

Friday, May 6 to
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Hours: Tues-Sat, 10 to 6
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The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino
Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat
Central Booking Magazine
Soho Photo Gallery