new-york

Doug Prince

Witkin Gallery

In the series of black-and-white photographs shown here Doug Prince has printed close-ups of various plants and flowers, or occasionally classical busts, over Italian scenes (landscapes, architectural details, interiors). From such a bare description this might seem simply a shrewd exercise in mixing and matching images from two categories of the conventionally pretty, in hopes of breathing a little artiness into stale genre subjects while retaining the reassuring appeal of the components of the scenes. Something more interesting actually results, however, for the pictures violate their own implicit premises and, as a result, remain outside of—though tantalizingly close to—the categories into which they seem intended to settle.

Prince achieves this largely through the way he treats the flowers he prints into the scenes. Shot in close-up, they appear grotesque and almost threatening, with

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