New York

Annette Lemieux

Josh Baer Gallery

Rallying cries that evoke simple, old-fashioned values are predictably seductive: inconveniently, however, expedient truths usually prove inadequate to real circumstances. Though Annette Lemieux’s romance with homegrown Americana has been hailed as a brave antidote to the claustrophobic ironies that inform much contemporary work, her misty-eyed appeals to such concepts as family, country, and self-reliance seem informed more by a home-as-fort-style nationalism than by a viable response to dehumanizing post-industrial social conditions. In Lemieux’s hands, Grandma’s musty steamer trunk proves a Pandora’s box of reactionary sentiment.

Lemieux’s apologists argue that her affection for hokey Americana must be understood as a moment within a more complex investigation of this lore. Several pieces do afford at least a modicum of perspective on the apple-pie values they evoke. The footprint

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