New York

Todd Gray, The Haunted House of Olympia (Francis), 2019, four ink-jet prints in artist’s frames, UV laminate, 66 3⁄8 × 54 3⁄4 × 5".

Todd Gray

David Lewis

In pristine, almost clinically precise photographic sculptures, Todd Gray confronts savage, tangled histories. The works comprising “Cartesian Gris Gris,” his debut exhibition at David Lewis, addressed the colonization of Africa, the economic and cultural hangovers of foreign rule, and Western concepts of the exotic. These are daunting themes, enough to sink less adroit artists—but Gray’s efforts felt neither leaden nor didactic. If anything, one could overlook the conceptual heft of these polished, unapologetically attractive pieces, which take a sidelong approach to their thorny subject matter.

In the majority of works on view, Gray collaged two to four color photographs of different sizes. Their motley frames—metal and wood, thick and thin—overlapped one other with Euclidean exactitude, their edges aligning on well-chosen axes to create elegantly balanced assemblages. These arrangements

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