There are worse things you could do with The New York Times than cut blocks of color out of its photos and advertisements and glue them together, as Suzanne Caporael does, into elegant, postcard-size, abstract collages. In 028 (like calculus), five superimposed sections make a neat white frame around a vertical bicolor of violet-black and pale blue. A golden yellow curve sinks down from the top toward a white square with a muddy purple corner folded in. A slightly muddled edge above the darker half, three round bumps at the bottom, faint white lines where the framing newsprint covers another piece’s edge, some type on the verso just barely showing through, and the partial date—the piece was made this year, sometime after the 10th of a month ending in “y”—all pull together, as curated accidents and gracefully understated decisions.
Inside the corners of 015 (like the wisdom of Smith, 2), three of them marked with three separate page numbers and the fourth with the artist’s initials, a chair or tower in discrete blocks of cyan, magenta, yellow and black is surrounded by the naturally dirty color of gray newsprint. It’s a neat but comprehensive portrait of the relationship between Modernism and industry.
And in 014 (like the wisdom of Smith, 1), scraps of handsome green, proud yellow, honest red and two shades of blue are put together in such a way that their printed black borders all line up into a composite linear frame. The overlapping adds visual texture but also—along with the material’s proximity to writing and the implicit reference to the triage performed every week on the Sunday paper—create an interesting slipperiness about the location of the collage’s being. What is actually being covered, and what is being shown? (Through Nov. 23)