new-york

Banks Violette

Team/Gladstone Gallery

One could hardly have invented better publicity: The opening of Banks Violette’s summer doubleheader at Team and Gladstone Gallery—his first solo show in a New York gallery since 2002—was delayed due to mysterious “technical difficulties” involving not just the forces of darkness but also those of propane gas and liquid nitrogen. “The work set fire to the gallery!” ran the breathless rumor, and while the reality may have been more prosaic, the scene was set. It was a little disappointing, then, to find Violette in solid but entirely predictable form, no more or less “extreme” than on his previous outing, and even beginning to seem faintly mannered.

The dominant color scheme across both shows was Violette’s signature white, silver, gray, and hell’s-mouth black. Filling Gladstone’s space was an electric thrumming signifying the involvement not only of light-industrial machinery and heavy-duty

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