Cecily Brown, Where, When, How Often and with Whom?, 2017, triptych, oil on linen, overall 7' 5 3⁄8“ × 33' 7⁄8”.

Cecily Brown

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

The massive 2017 triptych that gives this show its title, Where, When, How Often and with Whom, is a complex but inscrutable composition. Its left canvas depicts what appears to be a shipwreck (or at least a vessel tossed on a storm), while the center is occupied by a mass of figures who direct their apparently alarmed attention not at the foundering vessel but outward at the viewer (unless we are to imagine a shift in viewpoint, so that the viewer is at sea with the boat); on the right, a single figure lies sprawled out with another kneeling alongside. The painting brings to mind the refugees arriving—or failing to arrive—on the southern shores of Europe, and a text accompanying the exhibition informs us that part of the central canvas was inspired by the notorious 2016 photographs of French police on the beach at Nice confronting a woman wearing a burkini because it was not considered

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