New York

Ed Albers

Fawbush Gallery

Ed Albers’ diptych canvases (all works, 1989) portray hazy worlds populated by microbiotic life-forms. From the left panels emerge faint ghostlike patterns; the right panels bear isolated microbes, set off against a flat, murky background and highlighted by an eerie light. These forms are viewed as if under a microscope, enlarged many more times than normal and rendered with great precision. The creatures seem almost familiar, like distant cousins to the tree, as in Ramosus Spiraculum (Branching airhole), or the jellyfish, as in Siliqua Viri (Husks of the men). Albers’ earlier paintings, less restrained than the recent ones, often portrayed violent Darwinian struggles between reptilelike creatures. Here, the artist has worked his way down to the lowest rungs of the evolutionary ladder, seeking to capture the ways in which microorganisms adapt to their environments. While the earlier

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