New York

Ken Lum

Andrea Rosen Gallery

Published in 1972, Learning from Las Vegas was the ultimate postmodern (or antimodern) document, as it showed how, in North America at least, buildings were often subsidiary to road signs; architecture was, in essence, secondary to advertising. Ken Lum’s latest work doesn’t reference that canonical book specifically, but it radiates from the same center: The artist also examines the convergence of the political, historical, and everyday through the commercial-strip business sign with “adjustable type” (used in Vegas to advertise performers and everywhere else to announce sales, birthdays, and weddings, welcome conventioneers, and congratulate local sports teams).

But rather than go out and photograph found business signs, as Venturi et al. did, Lum created his own. Constructed of lacquered aluminum, his marquees aren’t as flashy as those in Vegas (which once featured ads for Flip Wilson,

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