new-york

Christian Denzler

Rivington Arms

Thanks to a stretch of skylights, Rivington Arms is an atypically bright gallery, and in the glare of the afternoon sun, Christian Denzler’s nine new untitled drawings looked initially like nothing more than a row of large white sheets of paper set in white frames, so faint are his marks. “Portraits of Unknown Persons” was, with one exception, exactly that, its subjects derived from old photographs the Brussels-based Swiss artist collects from flea markets, then enlarges, traces, and redraws with the lightest of light touches.

Found photography, even found-at-fl ea-market photography, is well-trod contemporary territory (Tacita Dean’s Floh, 2001; Pierre Huyghe and Douglas Coupland’s School Spirit, 2003; any number of works by Christian Boltanski), and the project of drawing found photographs seems at first academic. One’s immediate critical impulse, equally academic, is to dig out André

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