New York

Susan Leopold

John Weber Gallery

Susan Leopold shows boxes that contain miniature scenes visible through small fish-eye lenses mounted on their exteriors. Her subjects are predominantly urban themes such as indoor swimming pools, stairwells, doorways, and windowed interiors. While painstaking craftsmanship and careful lighting make these scenes look realistic, the fish-eye lenses render the typically coherent, rational perspective one expects extremely subjective.

A curious psychology of model making informs Leopold’s project, but her relationship to that tendency is largely unreflective. Ultimately this work falls short to the extent that it places too much emphasis on the sheer quality of its effects and too little on what they might imply. Nevertheless, automatically dismissing the work as coy would obscure its potential.

What prompts people to build models may well be an urge to reduce the world to a manageable scale

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