James Nares

Michael Klein, Inc.; Fawbush Gallery

James Nares has had a varied and busy career in New York’s downtown scene since the mid ’70s. In the highwater years of punk he cofounded the artist’s collective Collaborative Projects, Inc., played guitar in a “no-wave” band called the Contortions, and worked on numerous underground film and video projects. In his own best-known Super-8 film, Rome ’78, he directed a troop of downtown celebrities (among them David McDermott, John Lurie, and Lydia Lunch), depicting them as power-crazed egomaniacs in a deliriously ignoble imperial Rome.

It’s a long way from the barely controlled hysteria of Rome ’78 to the muted poetry of Nares’ new wall-mounted sculptural tableaux, but the differences may be more of focus and media than essence and idea. At the Fawbush Gallery, Nares showed a suite of 12 woodblock prints entitled “The Golden Ladder,” 1988. The concave and convex outlines echo the abstract

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