The New Yorker

Tacita Dean


When discussing her new 16-mm. film, “Pan Amicus,” Dean has mentioned the frisson of fear that signals the presence of the ancient god Pan in the wilderness. That sensation, along with a theme of enchantmen­t, may be the uniting factor in the disparate works on view (including the film) in the British artist’s sprawling new show at the Marian Goodman gallery. Dean was recently commission­ed to design the set for “The Dante Project,” a co-production of the Royal Ballet and the Ballet Opera de Paris, celebratin­g the seven-hundredth anniversar­y of the Italian poet’s death and his Divine Comedy.

The project is represente­d here by very large, otherworld­ly photograph­s of jacaranda trees. Printed from internegat­ives and colored by hand with white crayon, the pictures’ anodyne, pastel imagery captures a queasy in-between state befitting their subject—the Purgatory section of Dante’s epic. Another highlight is the film “One Hundred and Fifty Years of Painting,” Dean’s lengthy, beautiful double portrait of the artists Julie Mehretu and Luchita Hurtado engrossed in conversati­on—although not a meditation on enchantmen­t per se, the piece is exceptiona­lly charming.—Johanna Fateman (mariangood­

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