We get a rare glimpse of contemporary Russian photography through one of its masters, Vadim Gushchin, who offers deceptively simple and minimalist color compositions of “treasures,” such as books, art catalogues and portfolios, often sitting on monochromatic tables, against deep black backgrounds. His subjects are relentlessly neat and frequently wrapped, rolled up, or bound up with string, so that we would be reluctant to disturb them if they were actually before us. Yet Gushchin disrupts the isolation and immobility by strategies such as leaving parts of his subjects outside the frame, disposing them at angles, or placing them askew and atop one another. The result is a quiet dynamism that stimulates the eye to move across the picture plane rather than staying fixed on the subject. Gushchin has created a form of visual poetry that demands attention to detail and rewards the viewer with a pleasing sense of disorder where one would least expect to find it. An open little red jewel box with its top resting on its base and partly overhanging it might stay in its unresolved position forever. (Michael Weinstein)
Through September 30 at Jennifer Norback Fine Art, 217 West Huron
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