New York

Laurel Nakadate

Danziger Gallery

Everyone’s acting in Laurel Nakadate’s recent show, “A Message to Pretty”—the newest in the artist’s combustible adventures in desire and disappointment—but that’s not to say they don’t mean it. Made into a more elaborate installation—the exhibition includes photography, large- and small-scale sculpture, and a pair of single-channel videos— than the artist has previously attempted, the project was trademark Nakadate in conception: smart, shrewd, and more than a little ruthless, an unapologetically manipulative scheme that implicates not just the pitiable men the artist lures into her queasily intimate scenarios, but also the viewers she looks to seduce with her work’s frank sensuality, its willingness to take chances, and its moral ambiguity.

Taking its name from Arthur Lee’s classic psychedelic torch song— an eerie lament for unrequited love featuring the oddball savant’s plaintive, croaking

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