New York

Clegg & Guttman

Jay Gorney Modern Art

The significance of Clegg & Guttmann’s cerebral art lies in the multiple visual and conceptual subtexts concealed beneath the glossy surfaces of their Cibachrome photographs. Earlier seemingly straightforward group portraits of corporate executives portrayed actual businessmen or merely actors dressed for the part. These images exploited pictorial illusionism while revealing its artifices. Ultimately the portraits served as a vehicle for exploring power and its visual representation in contemporary society. Similarly, Clegg & Guttmann’s unconventional still lifes used objects to comment on issues ranging from patterns of consumption to Western imperialism.

For this show the artists created a quasi-architectural installation based on the Union City Free Public Library in northern New Jersey. At first the presentation of this old-fashioned, small-town library seems like straightforward

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