New York

“New York ca. 1975”

David Zwirner | 519 West 19th Street

All bad art, Oscar Wilde once observed, is sincere. Yet it's hard to imagine a more sincere or necessary statement than Wilde's own De Profundis. When it comes to art's directly addressing life's dire exigencies—war, social inequity, prejudice, human misery in general—sincerity, like that others word, happens. How long such art can be of anything more than historical interest is another question. Judging from this show of work made in New York in the '70s, it's got at least another fifteen minutes.

Dan Graham's tentatively expressive Performance Audience Mirror, 1977, encapsulates one's overall response to the varied installations spread through three rooms of the gallery. In the video, the artist rambles in the manner of a polite neurotic asking directions, extemporaneously narrating his own actions as well as the reactions of his audience. The effect wavers between grating and

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