New York

Justen Ladda

Jay Gorney Modern Art

Depending on your perspective, Justen Ladda’s technically virtuosic fusion of a classical image of horsepower with its modern incarnation either simply rehashes the all-too-familiar relationship of art and commodity culture, or attempts to synthesize elements he has been exploring for the last decade. It was precisely perspective that continued to unite Ladda’s earlier efforts—the enormous rendering of the comic-book character the Thing in an abandoned school, 1981, and his many trompe l’oeil recreations of art-historical icons over found objects—with the installation that dominated this exhibition.

After negotiating the black, mazelike entrance of ride, 1992, the viewer was confronted by monumental Cheez, a Day-Glo Ford monster tractor bathed in ultraviolet light and red fluorescence. From a single vantage point on the extreme left of the space, the installation seemed to consist

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