At the Whitney, John Divola Snaps Painting’s Corpse

THE DAILY PIC: Is Divola showing post-mortem shots of painting, or photos brought to life by the ancient medium?

THE DAILY PIC (#1755, Whitney Biennial Edition): This photo is from a series of works by John Divola now filling a room of their own in the Whitney’s latest survey of American art. After finding a dumpster full of discarded student paintings, Divola decided to hang them in various abandoned buildings and take their photographs.

Divola’s crummy found canvases look like a decent symbol of painting’s oft-announced death – the still-warm corpse of the victim, as it were, photographed at the murder site. But they also seem to have enough vigor left to bring new life to the near-dead trope of the photo of ruins. (Image courtesy Maccarone Gallery, New York and Los Angeles, and Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, CA)

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