Terence Koh's Flowers for Baudelaire

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Photos by Cathy Carver
Photos by Cathy Carver

Vito Schnabel, the young art dealer and scion of Julian, likens walking into the Terence Koh (n asianpunkboy) installation that he curated at photographer Richard Avedon's former studio on the Upper East Side to entering "a cloud." This effect stems from the lighting and intentionally rounded corners of the room, which creates a smoke-machine effect without the machine. And while it made Schnabel think of some low-hanging nimbus, it immediately struck me as the last art gallery on earth. Two empty chairs sit in the middle of the room and are surrounded by 53 paintings (each done in corn syrup and confectioners' sugar), and all is ghostly white, per Koh's preference for monochromatic pieces. It's all a bit eerie, as if ash from some catastrophe has covered paintings once bursting with color, and this is all that will ultimately remain of humanity's creative endeavors. After awhile, I started to feel the cloud thing that Vito mentioned, though, and imagined myself looking down through the atmosphere from the air at the snow-covered roofs of buildings (after a nuclear winter that I miraculously survived by way of my guts and cunning, naturally). But, despite all of my end-of-days premonitions, it all feels very serene. Chuck's evil flowers, indeed.

Terence Koh's Flowers for Baudelaire is on display at 407 E 75th St between York and First Aves until Feb 15.

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