New York

Teresa Bramlette

Althea Viafora Gallery

Banality is a powerful drug, certainly one that has not been thoroughly explored. It can make certain objects completely invisible. In this show, called “Traces of Use,” Teresa Bramlette attempts to make us see what banality obscures. The artist’s emulsion-on-wood images of bowls, cutlery, grapes, and so forth recall those pieces of wood with images of tourist attractions shellacked onto them that one finds at souvenir stores. The exhibition, while earnest, falls short of being compelling because the esthetic impact of Bramlette’s work is not strong enough to stand up to the banality of the objects represented.

Bramlette succeeds in showing how every object, no matter how banal, possesses an intractable opacity which defies the gaze. The irony of these images, which rely on the object’s impenetrability with regard to light, is that they end up looking like X-rays. By abstracting simple,

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