Daniel Bauer, Maison des Oiseaux, 2010, color photograph, 30 x 24".

Daniel Bauer

Andrea Meislin Gallery

Daniel Bauer, Maison des Oiseaux, 2010, color photograph, 30 x 24".

The subject matter of Daniel Bauer’s “Νεφελοκοκκυγία” (Cloudcuckooland)—the inevitable erosion of utopian modernism’s high ideals by the vagaries of everyday life—is overfamiliar to the point of nostalgia. Wasn’t this the theme du jour a decade ago? Or has it achieved a kind of evergreen status, become a standard tune to break into when all else fails? Bauer’s exhibition—his second at this gallery—was altogether too polite to make even this question feel urgent. But subject matter, after all, isn’t everything, and the nine photographs and single video featured are sufficiently magnetic in form and atmosphere to just about rescue the enterprise. Though certain iconic structures crop up with numbing predictability, the manner of their depiction gives the project, if not exactly a fresh spin, at least a momentarily revitalized force.

Perhaps the most striking works

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