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  • Source: The New York Times
  • Author: Roberta Smith
  • Date: April 30, 2019

New York Art Galleries: What to See Right Now

Collages and Polaroids by Dash Snow, downtown’s artistic rebel; Barbara Ess’s surveillance photographs; Chiara Fumai’s feminist pantheon; and Jeffrey Gibson’s geometrically patterned garments.

Dash Snow’s “Untitled (Someday There Will Be Another Love Until the End...),” from 2008, matchsticks on paper. Photo Credit: Dash Snow Archive, NYC

Dash Snow died in 2009 of a drug overdose at the age of 27, and this sad, sometimes disturbing show is the largest presentation of his work in New York since then. Organized with the Dash Snow Archive, it reveals both talent and the waste of it.

Mr. Snow was born to wealthy art world aristocracy — the de Menils — and an impeccable uptown pedigree. But he was rebellious from an early age, and began mostly living on his own, downtown, at 15. There he formed an alternative family of street artists and other discontents, whose chief recreation was getting drunk or high. Family money enabled him to pursue these habits full tilt, but that didn’t stop him from making quite a bit of art.

The work in this show at Participant Inc., pessimistically titled “The Drowned World,” identifies Mr. Snow as a kind of post-punk, latter-day Fluxus-Surrealist artist, sarcastic and often angry, and adept at making something out of almost nothing. Included here are 200 Polaroids from the several thousand the artist took, which alternate chaotic debauchery with occasional tenderness.

For his collages, Mr. Snow spliced newspaper images into elegant, suggestive exquisite corpses, and stacked words from headlines into poetic ransom notes. The objects here are only intermittently interesting, among them “I Snorted My Dad,” which begins with a child’s school chair and a stack of New York Post newspapers, and ends with a dark, slim vintage book titled “In the Event of My Disappearance.”

A version of this article appears in print on May 3, 2019, Section C, Page 20 of the New York edition with the headline: Galleries.