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PRINT November 1996

NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T: GEORGINA STARR

In the shabby England of the ’50s and much of the ’60s, World War II did not seem so far away. Even as Swinging London, when it came, was said to be thrilling the youth, people too old for it (they weren’t so old, really) had vivid memories of food rationing; and there was a social conspiracy to make impoverishment look not just tolerable but jolly. These were the glory days of Butlin’s holiday camps, Wimpy beef-burgers, and Bird’s powdered custard. For me that era is necessarily evoked by a particular British vehicle: a caravan, the kind of car-towed, rounded, boxlike vacation-home-on-wheels that Georgina Starr made the centerpiece of her spring show at Barbara Gladstone in New York.

The Americans, planning for cross-continental highways rather than the narrow roads of a bounded island, were quite a lot better at this sort of leisure object: no Winnebago, Starr’s caravan has a pathos to

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