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Davide Balula, Untitled, 2007–2010, color photograph, 13 1/4 x 10". From the series “Walls Meet Walls,” 2007–2010.

Davide Balula

Blackston

Davide Balula, Untitled, 2007–2010, color photograph, 13 1/4 x 10". From the series “Walls Meet Walls,” 2007–2010.

Upon entering Davide Balula’s recent show, your first notion might have been that the forty-odd images hung in a line at eye level (all Untitled, from the series “Walls Meet Walls,” 2007–10) made up another instance of “abstract photography.” Some works brought to mind James Welling or Eileen Quinlan, and others seemed like pastiches of the midcentury styles (Rothko, Newman) from which this recently much-hyped genre borrows its claims on our attention. Yet, perhaps indicating an oblique connection to more distant precursors (Moholy-Nagy, Rodchenko), the implicit dichotomy of abstraction and representation was quickly undone as two dimensions turned into three: The images—more or less candidly, depending—in fact depict commonplace details of the contemporary physical-architectural world. We see perpendicular walls meeting a ceiling, for instance, a wall turning a corner,

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