new-york

Sue de Beer

Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria

Indeterminacy—spatial, temporal, and, above all, emotional—is the central motif of Sue de Beer’s absorbing two-channel video installation, Black Sun, 2004–2005. While it continues the exploration of adolescent desire and frustration that’s earned de Beer a reputation as a preeminent auteur of teen angst, the new work also suggests an artist who is herself maturing, moving away from the often melodramatic physical abjection of her earlier works toward a more nuanced investigation of psychological alienation.

As in previous works, the winkingly gothic milieu of Black Sun extends into the three dimensions of an installation. De Beer has filled the entirety of Altria’s modest gallery space with a pink structure that—in a metaphor for her overall approach—suggests both dollhouse and haunted mansion. Shown on a pair of hanging screens in its all-black interior (complete with matching shag rug

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