new-york

Margaret Lee and Ajay Kurian, Darren’s Chair, 2011, color photograph, 7 x 5". From “Looking Back: The 6th White Columns Annual.”

“Looking Back: The 6th White Columns Annual”

White Columns

Margaret Lee and Ajay Kurian, Darren’s Chair, 2011, color photograph, 7 x 5". From “Looking Back: The 6th White Columns Annual.”

The line between community and clique is a fine one, and this highly idiosyncratic year-end review of goings-on about town walked it with a conspicuous wobble. Curated by artists Ken Okiishi and Nick Mauss, the exhibition dipped into a variety of overlapping, interrelated New York scenes, with results that were at times intriguing, at others too hermetic to have much appeal beyond their own circles. Never intended as a definitive best-of, but rather as a review of works encountered by the curators in the course of twelve months of NYC art-viewing, the annual is a snapshot of personal preference, not an all-bases-covered summing-up. And while at its best this can provide a refreshing alternative to wider-ranging surveys such as the Whitney Biennial, it can also make some viewers feel left out.

In the gallery’s first room, at least, Okiishi and Mauss kept obscurity at bay by featuring

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