New York

Michael Bishop

Light Gallery

Michael Bishop has abandoned the montage pictures for which he became well known several years ago, in favor of unadulterated color negative photographs made with a small camera. His current work desultorily follows two distinct impulses. On one hand, Bishop goes for small chaoses of perfunctory objects—oil drums brimming with trash, arrangements of poles and bars such as those that support highway signs or children’s swings. Bishop’s pictures attempt to reduce these metal networks to a colorful geometry, but fail to consider the plethora of superfluous background detail that his lens insists on retaining. Thus his webs of pipe never become condensed, authoritative, cogent abstractions. At the same time, they are so reduced that they lose most of their factual content.

We might understand these pictures as an extreme extension of Lee Friedlander’s popular motif—the placing of blunt, mute,

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