Boston

Moyra Davey

Harvard Art Museums

“WELL, I’LL BE DAMNED!” Standing at the entrance to “Long Life Cool White: Photographs by Moyra Davey”— a survey of the artist’s photographs from the past two decades (and her first museum show), curated by Helen Molesworth—was a fifty-something man in khakis, hands on hips, shaking his head vigorously, grinning, clearly in the pleasurable throes of realizing he had been duped. It seemed that he had just read the wall label for a group of one hundred eight-by-ten C-prints, each placed under Plexiglas and all hung in a neat grid. A lesson in infinitely subtle comparison, every photograph depicts a topographic-type terrain, clearly related to the others but laden with distinctions: Almost against one’s will, the eye takes to grazing, roaming across contours both abstract and yet naggingly familiar. With scale completely discombobulated, we could be peering at petri dishes or aerial maps;

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