New York

David Musgrave

Luhring Augustine | Chelsea

David Musgrave’s art, like Seinfeld, elevates seemingly banal or arbitrary subjects to unexpected heights. In his New York solo debut, the British artist presented an austerely beautiful suite of drawings and objects in which painstakingly flawless technique is brought to bear on motifs that oscillate between the timelessly iconic and the neither-here-nor-there. What the exhibition made indisputable was Musgrave’s ability to reveal the underlying complexity of outwardly trivial images, and to extract a sensual beauty from materials without resort to “expressive” (or even readily perceptible) inflection. A show about nothing, indeed.

Musgrave’s signature image—employed so frequently as to take on the aura of a logo—is that of a crude stick figure with an oversize head. Sexless and faceless (or, at most, having circles or Xs for eyes), it is equal parts telephone doodle and all-purpose avatar,

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