New York

Justen Ladda

MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art

Justen Ladda treats art at its lowest, where it merges seamlessly with kitsch. His is a raunchy, rollicking temperament that delights in mining the depths of popular consciousness, and in art, fashion and religion, 1986, he explored the impact of consumerism.

Ladda’s installation was designed according to two different spatial arrangements, with a mazelike rectilinear corridor giving onto a circular stage. Both walls of the corridor were painted with a Greek fret design, punctuated at regular intervals with clusters of grapes, and the perambulating viewer quickly noted that several grapes at a time had been removed (or eaten) from successive clusters, leaving as the final image the skeletal “tree.” The symbolism of the grapes’ “consumption” is obvious, and Ladda repeated the theme in the circular, pillar-ringed space through the large grape cluster painted prominently on the wall. Here the

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