Prefab

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At Gagosian Gallery’s New York location, an all-star cast of appropriation artists have joined forces to present a haven of prefabricated art objects. Prefab includes work by Richard Prince, Rudolph Stingel, Rosmarie Trockel, Sherrie Levine, Martin Kippenger, Mike Kelley, Jeff Koons, Richard Artschwager, and Alighiero e Boetti. Together, the often tongue-in-cheek work of these nine artists begins to look surprisingly serious, especially since all the work in the show adheres to painting‚Äôs traditional rectangular format. Prince’s unapologetic appropriations, for instance, become more severe next to the residue of Stingel’s Styrofoam.

The exciting aspect of Prefab is its integration of seemingly unlike artists. Sherrie Levine’s conceptually steeped re-photography has never been this smoothly related to Jeff Koons’ flamboyant fabrications, and Alighiero e Boetti has never seemed so closely related to the over-intellectualized genre of prefabricated art.

The timing of Prefab is also interesting, giving the current trajectory of these artists’ careers. Prince is coming out of a retrospective at the Guggenheim; a survey of Stingel’s work was recently on display at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as other national museums; Trockel’s work was featured in a traveling IFA exhibit; Koons’ sculptures dominate the third floor of the new Broad Contemporary Art Museum. Prefab makes these artists, many of whom have become canonical art world figures, seem relevant and contemporary again. Prefab runs through April 19th.

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