Daniel Lefcourt: Taxter & Spengemann
Hall, Emily, Artforum International
A lot can happen in the gap between an artist's initial inspiration and a project's eventual outcome, and the objects in Daniel Lefcourt's recent show dwell precisely, if opaquely, in that space. In his recent exhibition at Taxter & Spengemann, Lefcourt presented an array of Minimal-ish constructions, most of them assemblages of narrow strips of wood mounted on the wall. Many of these strips are covered in solid black acrylic, but narrow unpainted bands divide the surfaces of some into squares, while slanted lines crisscross others.
The differences between the works lie, for the most part, in the spaces between these narrow boards, or the lack thereof; sometimes they're laid flush against each other and sometimes they're regularly spaced, with various amounts of wall visible between them like the page visible between lines of text. And lines of text are what these works most resemble. Although Lefcourt has arranged them in an uncanny simulation of a Minimalist investigation of variations on a constant form, they also clearly suggest paragraphs justified left, right, or center, single- or double-spaced, laid out, in some cases, with room left to accommodate an image (or, in the case of one work, a gallery door).
In a statement, Lefcourt reveals that this series is the result of a double-barreled obfuscation that began when he discovered an online trove of photographs. The photographs depicted the layout--on pre-digital pasteup boards--of a newspaper page containing an article about a scandal involving diverted funds and a cultural institution. However, these images were later, without explanation, removed and replaced with a generic error symbol (a blank square with an x in the corner). As a result of these two murky events--the scandal itself and the removal of the images--the artist's opacity begins to feel more purposely mimetic, as well as hinging on a pun: Each "line" represented by a painted strip represents text that described a cover-up but was itself eventually covered up. …