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View of “Lucy McKenzie,” 2016. From left: Breche Abstract, 2015; Quodlibet LXI (Cerfontaine Coiffeuse), 2015; Map of the Dutch East Indies, 2015; Quodlibet LX (Violet Breche Desk), 2015. Photo: Thomas Müller.

Lucy McKenzie

Galerie Buchholz | New York

View of “Lucy McKenzie,” 2016. From left: Breche Abstract, 2015; Quodlibet LXI (Cerfontaine Coiffeuse), 2015; Map of the Dutch East Indies, 2015; Quodlibet LX (Violet Breche Desk), 2015. Photo: Thomas Müller.

Lucy McKenzie enters the lofty or demoted discourse of oil painting through a little-used side entrance—trompe l’oeil effects. In 2007–2008 she attended a school for decorative painting in Brussels. The educational detour was an unusual one for an already exhibiting artist, and it served her well: The skills she gained brought the allure of vocational virtuosity to her conceptual practice, an air of expert make-believe. But that’s not to say her work is lighthearted. “Inspired by Inspired by,” her show at Galerie Buchholz this past spring, felt like the almost-real scene of a chilling narrative. Walking through the garden-apartment layout of the ground-floor gallery, observing the opaque precision of her spare, styled vignettes—showroom-like abbreviations of a bizarre, expensive interior—I noted that there was more than one place to hide a body.

Two deep and statuesque

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