New York

Michele Abeles, 5641, 2016, ink-jet print, 42 × 29 1/2".

Michele Abeles

47 Canal | Grand Street

Michele Abeles, 5641, 2016, ink-jet print, 42 × 29 1/2".

What’s black and white and red all over? Such a question, of course, is a riddle whose punch line could be “a sunburned zebra” or “a newspaper.” Michele Abeles nods to this joke in the announcement for her recent exhibition at 47 Canal: The word zebra, her show’s title, runs vertically down an iPhone screenshot of the New York Times’s home page. The riddle’s obsoleteness—obsolete because it suggests that, in this attention-dry digital era, newspapers might be black-and-white or read to completion—is a distillation of the themes that ran through the exhibition.

In the show were nine prints (all works 2016), each titled with a four-digit number that might simply track inventory—appropriate, given the photographs document points of sale at various clothing retailers in New York. Most works center on hands: In 5040, manicured fingers, pinky outstretched just so, gracefully

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