Brad Spence, Courtroom, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 49 1/2 x 67".

Brad Spence

Shoshana Wayne Gallery

Brad Spence, Courtroom, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 49 1/2 x 67".

The title of Brad Spence’s fourth solo show at Shoshana Wayne Gallery, “(figs.),” simultaneously bespeaks the open-endedness and closure of the fourteen immaculately airbrushed Photorealist paintings that were on view. When abbreviated and bracketed, the word typically indicates a particular kind of “figure,” a reference image or diagram tied to a text. Previously, Spence has organized bodies of work around themes straightforwardly declared in his exhibition titles—“The Afterlife,” “Art Therapy,” “As I Was Conceived”—so that even if individual pieces occasionally strayed into ambiguous territory, these overarching rubrics at least provided us with a serviceable road map. The absence of any such hermeneutic frame here may encourage a greater range of interpretation, but the particular grouping of images that comprised “(figs.)” was no less interconnected or in any way

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the April 2011 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.