new-york

Thomas Bangsted, SS Coeur d’Alene (Under Refit for Troop Transport), 2012–14, ink-jet print, 63 x 86 3/4".

Thomas Bangsted

MARC STRAUS

Thomas Bangsted, SS Coeur d’Alene (Under Refit for Troop Transport), 2012–14, ink-jet print, 63 x 86 3/4".

At times, Thomas Bangsted’s hypnotic, hypercalculated pictures of boats nearly resemble paintings. The water’s smooth variance in tone looks handmade; its ripples are often intensely gestural. Indeed, the images suggest deadpan hallucinations, as though the boats are toys in a twilight zone.

In three of the seven images in this show, Bangsted portrays deserted ghost ships, historical relics of the two world wars. These depictions have been digitally altered—Bangsted has added the hard-edge, geometric patterning of dazzle camouflage. The boats are no longer rulers of the sea but vessels stranded near the land, technologically obsolete emblems of perverse nostalgia. Bangsted himself is caught up in nostalgia—it permeates his images. The ships are period pieces, and the black-and-white photographs look dated, suggesting everything in the past, including art, can be relived.

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