The cold winds of tragedy also blow in Deliberate Living, a well selected group show at Greene Naftali curated by Sima Familant, who brought together works by Darren Almond, Cosima von Bonin, Andre Cadere, Hellen van Meene, De Rijke/De Rooij, Felix Gonzalez Torres, Tom Burr and Bas Jan Ader. The show might be too sparse, yet it insinuates a sense of rarefied melancholy, which you seldom experience in the galleries of New York.
The late Bas Jan Ader and De Rijke/De Rooij steal the show, with a slide projection and a film respectively. Quite dissimilar in their subject—Jan Ader investigates the burden of gravity in a sublime Swedish landscape, whereas De Rijke/De Rooij sets an estranged love story against a flowery background—both pieces seem to suffer from some seasonal affected disorder, which binds the characters to rituals of isolation. There is no climax or rapture in these works, but rather a sense of prolonged desolation, stretching like a pale Nordic light on an emotional landscape of solitude.
It is this very same light that filtered through the lens of Jan Dibbets’ camera, in his early, historical photographs on view at Barbara Gladstone. Dibbets takes the lesson of Dutch painting, and sublimates it into an exercise of pure visibility: shot after shot, his camera erases reality, blurring it into a series of color fields and diaphanous structures as rigorous as a Mondrian and as sensual as a Vermeer.