new-york

Ida Applebroog, The Ethics of Desire, 2013, six parts, ink-jet print on Mylar, overall 9' 9 3/4“ × 21' 5”.

Ida Applebroog

Hauser & Wirth | West 18th Street

Ida Applebroog, The Ethics of Desire, 2013, six parts, ink-jet print on Mylar, overall 9' 9 3/4“ × 21' 5”.

Ida Applebroog’s imagery has always been forthright, direct, unequivocal: blunt in its protest against life’s absurdity and the abuse of power. Nothing smoothed over, no lulling nuances. Its force lies in its apparent simplicity, the almost cartoonlike reduction of what Max Kozloff once called the “little butcheries” of life to their fewest essential distinguishing features. And yet this simplicity or pictorial minimalism also renders her work ambiguous, filled with unarticulated resonances beyond what’s immediately apparent.

A few years ago, Applebroog described her work as “situated structures rather than paintings—although they have been done with paint, they become something else, totally.” Rarely has that been truer than in her most recent exhibition, “The Ethics of Desire,” and not just because she mostly eschewed paint this time in favor of ink, which she applied to

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