Jan Avgikos


Consensus has it that the New York art world has skidded into doldrums. The ubiquity of cultivated listlessness suggests that reaction against the critical strategies of ’80s-style postmodern art continues to influence the market’s myopic preference for low-wattage work enamored of its own ineffectuality. In his installation Overmounted Interior, BRIAN TOLLE recuperates the maligned practice of appropriation by situating us in a simulated environment stylistically cued to Gothic revival, American-style, and rife with sleights of hand (is it real? is it fake?), but the expressive, fantastical dimensions of his hand-carved Styrofoam baronial great hall are geared toward make-believe visionary experience. The toothsome immediacy of overwhelming proportions, richly grained and roughhewn “wooden” beams, a darkly “charred” hearth, and radiantly utopian “natural” scenery contributes

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