new-york

Erin O’Keefe, Things as They Are #42, 2017, ink-jet print, 20 × 16".

Erin O’Keefe

Denny Dimin Gallery

Erin O’Keefe, Things as They Are #42, 2017, ink-jet print, 20 × 16".

More than a little of the considerable appeal emanating from Erin O’Keefe’s photographs lies in the difficulty we encounter deciphering them. With these works—razor-sharp depictions of abstract, brushily painted, sculptural tableaux, for the most part—not only does one struggle to identify the medium, but the compositions traffic in shadowy illusion and spatial ambiguity, making it hard at times to know exactly what is being portrayed. Consequently, the eye moves searchingly across the picture plane, propelled by the pleasures arising from the work’s bold construction and rich yet subtly balanced palette, and by the curiosity attending cognitive discontinuity and contradiction.

This show, the artist’s second with Denny Gallery, was more or less split down the middle by a bifurcated display of two distinct bodies of work. To the left, from a new series of images titled “

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