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Bayat Keerl

B.R. Kornblatt Gallery

Eleven larger and thirteen smaller works, all executed during the last decade, comprised this exhibition by Swiss-born artist Bayat Keerl. These paintings incorporate photographs as their physical and, in the best works, as their conceptual support, and so show an obvious connection to the work of artists such as Arnulf Rainer and Gerhard Richter. However, Keerl not only paints on his photographs, he also “draws” on them using light. This double manipulation is used not to focus attention on the self (as in Rainer) or on the nature of painting vis-à-vis photography (as in Richter), but to explore cultural perceptions of reality.

In the earlier works, Keerl uses a variety of studio props to demarcate space; his investigations of movement and dematerialization are reminiscent of Futurism. In Betula Alba, 1979, an aluminum stepladder is rotated while being photographed, producing a triple

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