new-york

James Casebere

Vrej Baghoomian Gallery

The scenes that James Casebere builds and then photographs have always seemed underdetermined, whitewashed and so starkly lit that it is difficult to tell how big they are or what kind of space they occupy. Though the models are in fact quite small, Casebere has recently turned to making sculptures that, by contrast, are enormous. The two room-size works exhibited here together with four prints and one light box offer a continuation of Casebere’s spare reconstructions of the past—dreams of 19th-century American living spaces, and of the peculiarly American way they have been swept away.

The pictures combine elements from a domesticated Old West—corrals, gates, a kitchen window, a pine tree, a deck—bleached of their colors, deeply shadowed, and stripped of any human presence, so that they look like empty stage sets or ghost towns. Traces of their former inhabitants—a bowl or cup, a canoe—serve

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