Miranda Lichtenstein, Thank You (orange), 2015, ink-jet print, 40 × 26 1/2".

Miranda Lichtenstein

Elizabeth Dee Gallery

Miranda Lichtenstein, Thank You (orange), 2015, ink-jet print, 40 × 26 1/2".

Plastic bags have fallen on hard times since they stole the show in American Beauty (1999), in a scene reminiscent of Nathaniel Dorsky’s film Variations from a year earlier. No longer the mesmerizing Isadora Duncan of refuse, reminding us of the surprising elegance stirring in the corners of parking lots and our lives, plastic is now understood to represent a growing crisis, leaching toxins and forming garbage continents in the ocean. In New York City, it’s one more index of class—Whole Foods no longer uses plastic bags, but your corner bodega does.

Into this mix come Miranda Lichtenstein’s alluring 2015 photographs of plastic bags, in her fifth exhibition at Elizabeth Dee. At first glance, this show appeared to take up familiar themes of her practice: the still life as experiment, an interest in surface obfuscations and misaligned systems of representation, and the photograph

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