New York

Charles LaBelle

Anna Kustera Gallery

The 788 watercolor pencil drawings that make up Charles LaBelle’s series “Sugar Hill Suite—BLDGS” (all works 2005–2006) are rendered in a pleasingly unfussy sketchbook style, incorporating just enough detail to give a clear impression of the (mostly unremarkable) buildings that they represent, almost all of which are located in the storied Harlem neighborhood of the title. Each structure floats against the white space of the paper, isolated from its surroundings and objectified like a specimen under a microscope. Uniformly sized at about eleven inches square and pinned around the gallery in a four-high gridded frieze, the 352 examples that were included in LaBelle’s recent exhibition immediately recall numerous other attempts at incorporating serial, faux-archival structures into art—especially Ed Ruscha’s photo-book Every Building on the Sunset Strip, 1966.

As did the Los Angeles–based

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