New York

John R. Gossage

Leo Castelli Gallery - Uptown

Like anyone who ever took a new camera out into the yard to test it on the neighborhood squirrels, the family dog, the roses in the garden, John Gossage takes “conventional pictures.” But not quite. Gossage adds a smidgen of difference. He parodies the amateur picture and adds touches of flaunted skill and hidden conceit. The squirrel here seems almost to have gotten away, the picture almost missed; but gaze again and that squirrel seems to be peering out over the edge of the frame in mockery. Then you realize how close up he is seen, how cleverly his movement has been caught, despite the awkwardness—how close, in fact, the picture has come to succeeding despite its obtuse angle of attack.

Even such poor conventions are worthy of manipulation. Even such crudeness is technique that can be refined into a genre. Casualness, to some degree intentional, is a key axis on the graph of modern

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