new-york

Carl Toth

Pace/MacGill Gallery

For an established American photographer to use color and black-and-white Xeroxes immediately begs notice. Carl Toth’s new still life assemblages constitute a fascinating critical discourse on the esthetics of contemporary photographic vision. Unlike most artists interested in the pictorial potential of Xerox, he chooses to explore its ability to duplicate rather than to distort. Toth’s approach to Xerox is blatantly photographic; in a recent text, he described the Xerox machine as “a special kind of high technology camera.” He Xeroxes objects—ranging from camera parts to hardware items—by placing them directly on the screen of the copier. Often, he alters both the scale and the tone of the copies. Then he cuts out the Xeroxed images of the objects and assembles them on 16 1/2-by-25 1/2-inch backgrounds.

The compositions that result are as riveting to think about as they are attractive to

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