new-york

Seton Smith

Tom Cugliani Gallery

A preoccupation with architecture’s ideological underpinnings is widely recognized as one of the mainstays of post-Modernism. For artists, this focus often entails bringing certain philosophical and psychoanalytic propositions to bear on otherwise unreflected aspects of architecture’s social embeddedness. Seton Smith has clearly embraced this approach. Her sensitive photography, choice of elegant materials, and feeling for past epochs evoke a tranquil, romantic mood. Yet in their own quiet manner, her various tableaux question the signifying force of our built environment. Smith successfully conveys a sense of presentational modes as images—and, conversely, of imagery as a kind of presentation. She shares a predilection for this kind of reversal with other second-generation feminist conceptualists, such as Annette Lemieux, Judith Barry, and Vikky Alexander: all mount a discursive inquiry

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