New York

Andy Warhol

Heiner Friedrich Gallery

What’s the difference between a conundrum and an enigma? If you want a concrete example, it’s the difference between Elke Solomon’s riddle, which she answers with a joke, and Andy Warhol’s “Shadows,” a brooding, riddling exhibition to which there are no answers, just mystery.

Sixty-six large (76 by 52 inches) canvases are abutted—filling up the entire gallery. Bright acrylic colors thicken the surfaces, and the accumulations of paint seem to take on one of two configurations. Warhol’s press release assures that each of the canvases bears the same image, so if I detect two, could this mean there’s a positive and negative version of the same image? One looks like a flame—on a lighter, on a kerosene lamp; the second looks like a void. But this speculation is specious because the images are so manifestly nonrepresentational. Nonetheless, there’s a Blow-up quality of criminality to this exhibition:

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