New York

Merlin Carpenter

Petzel/Borgmann Gallery

Perhaps we should be grateful that Merlin Carpenter just doesn’t seem to give a shit. British-born, under 30, and a former Martin Kippenberger assistant, Carpenter makes stuff with an alternately kiss-me-I’mclever and ignore-me-I’m-just-cynical posture. His charmingly awkward, coyly provisional excursion into the realm of computer-assisted image-making raises the question, What’s the difference between the dilettante-as-artist and the artist-as-dilettante? Like certain other artists of the twenty-something generation, Carpenter assumes, rightly or wrongly, that we’re no longer interested in differentiating between the two; perhaps the difference is indeed moot. In any event, this impasse seems to have freed Carpenter to dabble away.

His attitude of choice is laissez-faire tinged with the requisite irony hangover. The works in this, his first New York solo show, are based on photographs the

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