Fresh Start

Where New Grads Turn Into Emerging Artists

This is immediately evident at the NYU show at 80 Washington Square East. All the work here—primarily photography, but including painting, installation, and mixed media—is confident and polished, and even the most routine images seem grounded in something deeper than the desire to make it big. Stephane Crasneanscki's meticulously composed eclipsed landscapes, Andrew Stole's ghostly layered self-portraits with his father, and Enrique Méndez de Hoyos's sexy, serial-image grids are among the most assured pieces. But three women who showed their work in widely scattered arrangements struck me as particularly soulful. Vaune Trachtman's 18 unframed shots of the city at night capture its tensed-up, strung-out mood in rushes of blur and grain. Lauren Adria Krohn turns 16 straightforward documentary shots of her grandmother and her North Miami apartment—each presented in a different wood frame entirely appropriate to the material—into a portrait as shrewd as it is loving. And Madelyn Bradley scores with a collagelike sprawl of variously sized color photos clamped under glass and a looped video that spin suggestively around the subject of childhood sexuality. Included among photos grabbed from a TV show on JonBenet-style beauty pageants and a picture of a man holding an ecstatic young girl on a merry-go-round is an image—of a little girl in a pink bathing suit lying on a kitchen floor—that may be entirely innocent but looks like a classic crime scene shot. The tension between these two possibilities galvanizes Bradley's whole wall.

Domestic drama or crime scene?: Madelyn Bradley’s Girl on Floor (2001)
Photo Courtesy of 80 Washington Square East Galleries
Domestic drama or crime scene?: Madelyn Bradley’s Girl on Floor (2001)

Among the many student shows over the next few weeks, the Parsons photo department senior show runs through June 2 at 2 West 13th Street. Hunter's M.F.A. thesis show at its Times Square Gallery space, 450 West 41st Street, and the college's B.F.A. exhibition at the Leubsdorf Gallery at 68th Street and Lexington Avenue both continue through June 16.

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