Art In America

Olivo Barbieri

at Yancey Richardson,
535 W 22 St

The Italian photographer says that these images of the Alps are "real"—the result of hard trekking and risky helicopter flights—even though the prints look blatantly manipulated, with looming geological formations digitally stylized and tiny cut-and-pasted figures sprinkled on for maximum "oh, the fragility of humankind" effect. But that discrepancy is probably the point, making the seven large-scale pictures, glowing with blue skies and white snow, inducements for philosophical musings of the Magrittean Treachery of Images variety. When is a pipe not a pipe or a mountain not a mountain? When it's a picture of pipe or a mountain, the principal form in which it exists in the mind. But are ideas not as "real" as mountain passes or boulders?



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