Reviewed: Three Seconds with the Masters
James Osher, a Pittsburgh-based artist, has nailed the experience of visiting an art museum. He takes photographs of masterworks, moving his camera fluidly past the paintings, sometimes viewing them in fractured style or elongating them, just as they might appear to a distracted visitor. “Three Seconds With the Masters,” he calls it, prompted by a finding the average visitor spends only that much time with museum artworks–a reality that seems to irk and fascinate Osher in equal parts. He also offers captions that have nothing to do with the work in question, a play on the idea that people spend more time reading wall notes than studying the work itself. But the exhibit isn’t just clever and weighty; it also repackages art beautifully. Unlike the unadorned reproductions of Sherrie Levine, who famously reappropriated Depression-era images in the 1980s, Osher manages to create new works, such as a stunning reinvention of a luminist landscape that’s dreamily fuzzed.