In general, while these works have a lovely pale serenity, I think the overall experience misses the mark a bit. My enjoyment of the soft, diffused feeling of the photographs was disrupted by an underlying sense of the artist trying too hard, of a self-conscious, conceptual artiness that seemed too contrived. But this same knock could be leveled at any number of inward looking, mystical or symbolic photographers across the decades (Szarkowski's "mirrors"), especially those who have regularly employed abstraction. These new works do successfully create a mood, I'm just not sure it is one that we haven't felt before.
Rating: * (one star) GOOD (rating system described here)
Sara VanDerBeek: To Think of Time
Through December 5th
Whitney Museum of American Art
945 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10021