New York

Steve Wolfe

Luhring Augustine | Chelsea

Apropos of nothing, I wonder who wrote the book of love. Really! I do! Could it be Steve Wolfe? Certainly his books are lovingly made, which is promising—yet something in them is mute and withholding. Ain’t that always the way.

Wolfe makes copies of books—not as writing (like Borges’s Pierre Menard, who composes his own Don Quixote) but as thing. Wolfe’s artworks duplicate familiar editions of favorite literature, but they are dormant objects. While they may well be hollow, I imagine them as solid: Their materials are stuffs like wood, particle-board, and galvanized steel, and despite the oil paint and lithography and silkscreen inks that give them mimetic impeccability, they are taxonomically closest to sculpture. Or are they? Like paintings, they hang on the wall—except for the couple that fall off it, and for the many packed in boxes (also artist-made) on the floor. The works’ faithfulness

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