New York

Lucy McKenzie

Metro Pictures

The press release for Scottish artist Lucy McKenzie’s New York solo debut curiously asserted that one of the five series of works on paper in the show consisted of “studies of Tintin from life.” Created in 1929 by Belgian artist Hergé, Tintin—preposterously cowlicked journo-adventurer who moved, Zelig-like, through most of the mid-twentieth century’s geopolitical hotspots—is, of course, a cartoon. But there he was in McKenzie’s show, fleshed out with eerie naturalism in a group of colored-pencil portraits that depict him posing rakishly in plus fours and trench coat. In fact, McKenzie’s subject in these works was her boyfriend, dressed up in Tintin costume but substituting a brooding intensity for the original character’s perpetually callow mien, as if the dismal and antiheroic trajectory of modern history had finally sunk in.

A trio of giant, colorful ink-and-acrylic works on paper—Lucy

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