Purple Diary

[May 3 2009]

Lux Interior is an exhibition of a single painting by Jutta Koether. Hot Rod (after Poussin), 2009 is the artist’s to-scale remake of Nicolas Poussin’s Landscape with Pyramus and Thisbe, 1651. The painting’s mostly red palette relates the bloody double suicide in a fable by Ovid (according to which the lovers´tragedy changes the mulberry trees´s blossoms from white to purple). Along with the depicted drama, the speed and the red, metallic and iridescent pigments disturb the idealized vista. Koether’s “harsh pastoral” and the diagonally broken staging of the work re-enact the horror of tragic miscommunication between two lovers so that Poussin’s allegorical landscape returns as a raw, stripped-down, messed-up and overdosed surface. Here, the sight of death is a seeing-red and a going blind. Lux Interior at Reena Spaulings Fine Art, 165 East Broadway, New York until May 24th.

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