New York

Philippe Decrauzat

Swiss Institute / CONTEMPORARY ART

Having first encountered Swiss artist Philippe Decrauzat through his Komakino, 2006—a Joy Division–inspired “wall decal” installed in “War on 45 / My Mirrors Are Painted Black (For You),” Banks Violette’s recent curatorial endeavor at Bortolami Dayan—I approached his concurrent New York solo debut at the Swiss Institute–Contemporary Art with trepidation. Komakino struck me as balancing precariously between formally interesting and—in the context of a show whose principal enterprise seemed to involve negotiating tensions between masculinity and bourgeois hipness—glibly fashionable, and I wondered in which direction this show would tilt.

Luckily, Decrauzat aimed here for depth over easy allusion, an ambition reflected in the show’s most visually striking feature, an imposing grid of blocks of black vinyl tape, modestly titled A Square, 2006, that covered three of the gallery’s walls. The

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