new-york

Tony King

O.K. Harris Gallery

The shift from Serra’s flirtation with triviality to the genuine trivia produced by Tony King is an abrupt one—so abrupt that one is likely to find oneself thinking more and more favorably of the former’s drawings. After all, they do look good.

King has abandoned an intricately sterile brand of abstraction (in which interlocking shapes were painted to appear three-dimensional) for an equally sterile brand of representational painting, in which the artist reproduces dollar bills. Graphically, his renderings are exact, but his color is deliberately off, allowing a certain amount of painterly expressiveness to creep in. The subject matter ranges from the one-dollar bill to the 500-dollar bill, with the presidential-portrait side up, and with each painting’s size correlated to the denomination of the bill it replicates. The painting of the 500-dollar bill, then, is very large, but still not

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