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Gregory Crewdson is showing new work simultaneously at the Luhring Augustine Gallery in New York, White Cube in London, and Gagosian in L.A. This international “blockbuster” release is perfect for Crewdson’s new work as its vapidity mirrors the bulk of mainstream films. As his production values have gotten more complicated, his work has become melodramatic and boring. Crewdson’s early suburban pictures used the conventions of cinema to signify narrative, while harnessing the ambiguity of the single frame. Although they were sometimes overwrought, there was subtlety to the storylines. In nearly all of the new work his characters have a blank look on their face that seems to signify “I am having a profound and tortured moment.” It is utterly unconvincing. There were murmurs for a long time that Crewdson was going to go the whole nine yards and make a film. At this point it seems cowardly not to, as his photography has become a pale imitation of cinema. He seems afraid to take the leap and make these pictures into a real narrative, because it will become clear he has nothing to say.

- Asha Schechter [Tuesday, May 17th, 2005]

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