New York

Max Estenger

Steffany Martz

Max Estenger’s recent exhibition was heavy on the one-liners: a framed announcement for Dan Flavin’s installation at the Calvin Klein store, equipped with a fluorescent “painting light”; an inflatable ottoman stuffed with a shredded Bible; aluminum panels imprinted with photos of Ted Kazcynski’s cabin and Harry Helmsley’s crypt. In Great Looking Hair (GLH Formula) (all works 1997), a line of clear plastic, wall-mounted domes conjured the space-age Minimalism of Donald Judd or Larry Bell, but the monochromatic earth colors (black, light brown, auburn, silver, and so on) coating the insides of the shells were actually “hair thickeners”—spray paint for bald spots, to put it bluntly—purchased from a company that hawks its wares in late-night infomercials. Ironically, when applied to the inside of a dome, the paint’s velvety texture looked sublime rather than ridiculous.

In spite of the show’s

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