Anne Zahalka

City Gallery

Anne Zahalka’s portrait series “Artists, 1989–90,” records members of the upmarket avant-garde posed within fabricated three-dimensional studio reconstructions, which evoke the artistic sensibilities of the sitters. The resulting large, glossy color prints, are loaded with telling detail to the point that they virtually burst at the seams with hidden significance, and the visual plenitude obfuscates their legibility. Artist #12 (David O’Halloran) is the bohemian in his garret: he sits in bed writing. The accessories are suitably spartan: a telephone on a red plastic milk crate, and a book by Sigmund Freud. Bare light bulbs, a hammer, and a simulacrum of a Constructivist painting stand in for this artist’s idea of art. The use of artists as models is a constant in Zahalka’s work. In her earlier series, “Resemblance I,” 1987, she arranged her friends in 18th-century authentic Dutch genre

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