• Gerry Bergstein

    Howard Yezerski Gallery

    The trompe l’oeil self-portraits and grisaille “mound” paintings in Gerry Bergstein’s recent show testify to his growing understanding of the complicated, cathartic role of the contemporary narrative painter. In the former, the artist’s cluttered, darkly comic works include meticulously painted reproductions of black-and-white head-and-shoulders photographs of himself wearing various exaggerated facial expressions, a serial approach to identity familiar from the contorted character heads of eighteenth-century German sculptor Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. The largest paintings in the series—all tall

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  • L.A. Raeven

    ICA - Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

    I’ve often been bored looking at art in a gallery, but I don’t remember ever before experiencing a work that seemed bored with me. This was the possibly dubious accomplishment of L.A. Raeven, a pair of artists from Amsterdam who seem to have found in their own twinhood the perfect metaphor and mechanism for the modernist ideal of self-referentiality: a closed communicative circuit in which no viewer need be addressed. Their work here consisted of a pair of pairs, or perhaps even a pair of pairs of pairs. The overarching pairing was of two video installations, Wild Zone I, 2001, and Wild Zone 2

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