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Thomas Barrow, Sexual Ecology, ca. 1990, spray paint on gelatin silver print, Polaroid prints, 28 x 25".

Thomas Barrow

Derek Eller Gallery

Thomas Barrow, Sexual Ecology, ca. 1990, spray paint on gelatin silver print, Polaroid prints, 28 x 25".

This exhibition surveyed more than thirty-five years of photographer Thomas Barrow’s art, from the early series “Cancellations,” 1974–81, for which he first became widely known, to a recent body of work, “Detritus Bags,” 2009–, made by placing objects and images into small plastic pouches. At first, little seems to unite the work at the two ends of this time span. The “Cancellations” are small black-and-white prints of banal landscape photographs taken in the American West, each of which is interrupted by an X made by incising the negative with an ice pick. Among the objects tightly packed into the “Detritus Bags” are soda-bottle tops, wax vampire teeth, photographs, exhibition-invitation cards, plastic toys, even the artist’s Bank of America debit card. One series is elegantly austere and cerebral, the other a random jumble.

There were just enough artworks here allow one to follow

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