PRINT January 2005

Adam McEwen

A furtive quality of the almost-there or phantom presence haunts Adam McEwen’s practice throughout, as he plays on inversions of context, reversals of fortune, and gallows humor. The first works that caught my eye were little signs such as one might see in store windows or on shop doors alerting visitors that the place was closed for business, but instead of “Sorry We’re Closed” they said things like “Sorry We’re Sorry,” “Fuck Off We’re Closed,” or “Sorry We’re Dead.” All of which suggest that whoever made these particular signs (or decided to use them) isn’t feeling terribly sorry for much. These signboards (realized in 2001 and 2002) are in fact little paintings, executed by McEwen in flashe on paper without the slightest hint of a brushstroke. Hung last year (and in the summer of 2003) inside the always-locked glass door of Chelsea’s Wrong Gallery, an exhibition space maybe a foot deep,

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