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OPENINGS: ALISTAIR FROST

Alistair Frost, Out of Office Auto Reply, 2012, acrylic on linen, 39 3/8 x 31 1/2".

IF YOU HAVE ANY FAMILIARITY with Apple’s aesthetic, Alistair Frost’s painting Out of Office Auto Reply, 2012, will click immediately. It features the side-on speaker of the Mac OS volume icon, muted by an overlaid black cross whose faux-ragged “expressive” edging suggests—like much of the London-based artist’s Google-powered work—clip art. The immediate feel, then, is of a symbol dragged and dropped; the implicit definition of painting is as something lacking a voice, and the title proposes that not only was this nonstatement generated without human interaction but that the artist is also a mere bureaucrat (albeit one who’s recently deserted his desk). Vis-à-vis the diminished status, today, of the ostensibly analog medium of painting—and even of unformatted creativity—all of this might suggest a shrug, a capitulation.

Then again, painting is silent, the experience

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