Critics’ Picks

View of “Arash Fewzee,” 2018.

View of “Arash Fewzee,” 2018.

New York

Arash Fewzee

island | gallery
83 Bowery 2nd Floor
November 17, 2018–January 6, 2019

Arash Fewzee calls his large-scale photograms “slow images.” These cameraless works are produced through performative darkroom processes. Fewzee’s most explicit performance document in this show, A line made by driving (an accidental performance, summer of 2018 Skowhegan, Maine) (all works 2018), depicts a patch of lawn bearing a single line of dead grass created by a car tire. As in the artist’s studio, this work is mounted on pegboard alongside test strips and other prints—a suitable centerpiece for a show in which the artist’s thinking is as palpable as the works themselves.

Fewzee highlights the materials and morphology of his approach throughout the gallery. His untitled, iterative series of photograms—produced during his time at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture—are painterly images in oranges, blues, and burgundies, and they are utterly self-reflexive. For instance, the stencils used to airbrush the glossy squares in one monochromatic photogram can be seen hanging on his studio wall in the background of another, while a ceramic piece rests in the same position in the gallery as it did on the floor of his studio.

The photograms rotate clockwise daily, with one spot in the gallery perpetually empty. Fewzee has engineered a series of correspondences across works; when installed, each work was airbrushed with a different colored stripe at the top, which now periodically aligns with traces on the gallery walls as the works rotate. The artist reminds us that objects are mobile: Images circulate, exhibitions are installed and deinstalled. Fewzee reconstructs systems of thought-production and display—the show is, after all, a continuous circuit—uprooting distinctions between new and old, unique and common.