Critics’ Picks

Ryan Foerster, Untitled #1, 2013, C-print, dust, 39 3/4 x 30”.

Ryan Foerster, Untitled #1, 2013, C-print, dust, 39 3/4 x 30”.


“The Instability of the Image”

Paradise Row
74a Newman Street
July 18–September 12, 2013

This group exhibition purports to demonstrate how technological progress has affected images through the deconstruction of its materiality. Hannah Perry’s Untitled #1, 2013, is one of the most striking pieces in the show—it seems to be a mounted canvas covered by a tar-like substance with a prominent tire mark running an inch deep through the center. It’s a relatively simple concept, but the piece wears this mark as a bold statement of its own physicality in an age of digital production.

Two pieces by Ryan Foerster, Untitled #1, 2013, and Untitled #2, 2006–13, are similarly affecting. When severe flooding from Hurricane Sandy hit Foerster’s Brooklyn home and studio last year, these photographic portraits of the artist’s friends were distorted to the point of being unrecognizable—yet, here they have been reincarnated as abstract prints that resemble a watery surface, recalling the natural disaster that, unexpectedly, proved artistically constructive. The works’ delicate vulnerability is only further emphasized by their frameless display against the smoothness of the white wall of the gallery.

Israel Lund’s Untitled, 2013, is not stripped away like Foerster’s works, but conversely it is repeatedly built upon in layers. The process is uniquely self-referential: After taking an iPhone photo of one of his abstract paintings that was exhibited in 2012, the artist placed the image through a PDF-making app, the result of which was then silkscreened onto canvas. The fragmented image is rendered in the primary colors of printer ink cartridges, recalling the saturated static on analog TV screens from the early seventies.