new-york

Klaus Hartmann

Nicole Klagsbrun

Near the entrance to Klaus Hartmann’s first solo New York exhibition was a large digital print of a somewhat desolate barnlike structure out of which grew a narrow, three-story square tower topped by a small observation deck. With its surreal appendage, oversize doors, and stucco-covered brick facade, the building appears to be some bizarre yet strangely familiar modern architectural hybrid. (In fact, the edifice is an old firehouse in East Germany.) This blend of the alienating with the nostalgic was a perfect introduction to Hartmann’s show, which brought together a peculiar range of aesthetics in photographs, photo collages, and paintings.

In five untitled color photographs, Hartmann began by charting a territory of taste from middle-class banality (an isolated palm tree from a public landscape) to sheer kitsch (figures from the Wild West crafted entirely out of lightbulbs at a country

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