Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Lisa Kereszi, The Party's Over @Richardson

JTF (just the facts): A total of 10 large scale color images, framed in white and unmatted, and hung in main gallery space. All of the works are archival pigment prints, made between 2005 and 2010. The show contains images in two sizes: 30x40 and 40x50; there are 8 images in the smaller size and 2 images in the larger size on view. All of the prints are available in editions of 5. (Installation shots at right.)

Comments/Context: In contrast to the recent wave of experimentation and boundary breaking in contemporary photography, there is something altogether straightforward and traditional about Lisa Kereszi's new group of photographs. The artworks show a knowing respect for old school photographic values and visual approaches: her compositions are spare and formal, her subjects are mostly centered in the frame, her small people-less vignettes are carefully picked from the real world, and her prints are made with attention to detail. While they have a strong contemporary flavor, these photographs are firmly rooted in a familiar vocabulary.

This body of work is centered on images of decaying amusement: a disco ball packed up in a cardboard box, a lonely pole and dart board in an empty swinger's club, the bright portholes and faded undersea mural of a swimming pool, and a pile of electric signs (presumably from shuttered or rebranded Holiday Inns) ready for scrap. The images are silent and deserted, wallowing in a melancholy mood of morning after hangovers and faded memories. A topless bar and an ornate theater are both captured as reflections in thin puddles, and a brittle plastic shark emerges from a stagnant pool, its dinner of a fake hand no longer particularly scary.
While these images don't fall directly into the category of ruin porn, they certainly depict a tired, worn out, left behind atmosphere, and can easily be placed alongside other work from the second half of the 2000s, when this desperate, exhausted, frustrated mindset was most prevalent. There is a depressing sense of delusional futility in these pictures, quietly beautiful at some level, but still discouragingly sad.
Collector's POV: The prints in the show are priced based on size. The 30x40 prints range from $5150 to $6150 each, while the 40x50 prints are $6900 each. Kereszi's work has very little secondary market history, so gallery retail remains the best option for those collectors interested in following up.
Rating: * (one star) GOOD (rating system described here)
Transit Hub:
  • Artist site (here)
  • Yale faculty page (here)
Lisa Kereszi, The Party's Over
Through July 6th
535 West 22nd Street
New York, NY 10011

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yancey is losing cred quickly with these slapped together shows. Since Tracey Norman left for Pace, the gallery feels like a store on Madison.