Strictly Critical Video: Gopnik and Viveros-Fauné, On Tom Friedman at Luhring Augustine

Nothing is more than an eighth of an inch thick, but it's a pretty deep show.

This week our intrepid art critics travel into the bush—okay, Bushwick—to assay Tom Friedman’s new exhibition at Luhring Augustine‘s Brooklyn outpost. They agree it’s a show they might have breezed through, so convincing are its trompe l’oeil achievements.

Blake Gopnik: If this were in Chelsea, where you’ve got a hundred galleries to go to in the hour you’ve got to spare, it would be very easy just to do to the classic once around the gallery, “Oh, yeah, nothing here for me—yeah, it’s just a bunch of paintings,” and then you’re out. I was disappointed [at first] because I’m used to having something closer to a one liner—a jest—but this is weird enough that I respect it. For an exhibition where nothing is more than an eighth of an inch thick, it’s a deep show.

Christian Viveros-Fauné: The more obvious the material, the more obvious the object, the more you need to be paying attention to it. . . . Friedman seems to be doing this with just about with every piece. He looks at it and pays attention to the one way to give the thing the twist of meaning it needs. It’s a joke, a single joke, but it’s got a lot of legs.

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