new-york

John Lehr, Window Drawing, 2013, pigmented ink-jet print, 34 x 46 1/2".

John Lehr

Kate Werble Gallery

John Lehr, Window Drawing, 2013, pigmented ink-jet print, 34 x 46 1/2".

The nine color photographs in John Lehr’s recent exhibition “Low Relief” look like luscious but simple shots of chanced-upon urban surfaces—walls, doors, windows, grates—enriched by incidental wear and tear. And in terms of primary source, that’s exactly what they are. But Lehr has manipulated each close-up image physically and digitally, tinkering with both the subject on-site and its record in the studio to achieve a seamless hybrid of representation and abstraction. Concentrating on the subtle enhancement of existing characteristics, the Brooklyn-based artist variously heightens or mutes the hues in each fragment, bringing the result close to a kind of found Abstract Expressionist painting. The works are, in the words of their maker, “based in reality, but definitively imaginary.”

Lehr prints at one-to-one scale, so while all the works in the show are modestly

Sign-in 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 May 2013 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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