Paul McDevitt and Cornelius Quabeck

Stephen Friedman Gallery | 25 - 28 Old Burlington Street

Though Cornelius Quabeck and Paul McDevitt are now both based in Germany, the two first met while studying in London. Quabeck has recently been working on the West Coast, and it was in San Francisco that the two artists encountered the work of Albert Bierstadt. Popular, successful, hugely productive, and not averse to redeploying tried-and-tested compositional tricks, the nineteenth-century landscapist— trained, as Quabeck initially was, in Düsseldorf—seemed an appropriate reference point for their own ongoing collaborative project. It helped, too, that Bierstadt’s name can be literally translated as “beer city,” an imaginary place connoting the right mix of exuberance, excess, failure, and despair to encourage an open-ended, geographically dispersed joint enterprise.

What resulted was a show with two halves. In the front space, Quabeck and McDevitt hung a wide selection of the material

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