new-york

Noel Vietor, Mike Berg

56, Bleecker Gallery

Noel Vietor's projections on textured canvases recall planetarium projections—one is overwhelmed by the sheer magnificence of nature's scope, and so relies on the translation of planetary images to a more accessible scale in order to make nature a kind of theater. But Vietor's suite of moderately scaled projection pieces are not as entrancing as planetarium projections; they tease the viewer with an unrealized promise of spectacular effects. The darkened gallery setup connotes a theater or fun house, wherein darkness acts as a framework for isolated dramatic moments. But the relatively small scale of the pieces works against their impact. And the choice of images—a floating astronaut, a broken-up black silhouette of a bomber plane, and a row of jail cells—is fairly generic. Crater/Painting I, 1988, is the exception. Here the rocky texture of the canvas augments the image of the moon's

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