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Peace

Sideshow
2008-01-28

You might expect a show entitled Peace, and featuring almost three hundred works by over two hundred artists to be a blustering, even intimidating, affair yet the floor-to-ceiling salon at Sideshow is anything but. If you’ve ever walked up a very long, creaky, staircase in a Soho building circa 1986 – and I know at least one of you out there has – this is the sort of show that would be at the top of it. It’s got a lot of color and a lot of emotion applied in a way that seems more about mode than message. And it’s got a Larry Poons to boot. But for a few exceptions, including David Henderson’s exquisitely protuberant Man O’ War and Peter Reginato’s towering Angel, this is a paint on canvas show populated by rectangles from every walk of life. If there is a message broadcast by these works it looks peace-loving rather than war-hating. But, of course, with so many individuals, the more one looks the more the works individuate themselves, and any easy wholesale impression soon complicates. This is a mighty rich show and rewards, demands even, return visits. (Reviewer’s note: You can spend ten minutes at the opening reception of Peace any time at all by visiting James Kalm’s great little doc-you-mentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKmIDgaikjs).

—Rodger Stevens
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