Best in Show: Molly Springfield by R.C. Baker
Ah, the mendacity of images. I'll admit, I almost hit my pivot foot when I entered the gallery and saw what looked to be black-and-white Xeroxes pinned to the wall. But my job demands patience, and this time, at least, it was rewarded. Oh, the pre-Internet ordeal of plowing through books in search of a crucial reference, then making a copy on some creaky black-and-white machine at the library: Springfield has captured that monochrome drudgery in her graphite drawings on paper, replicating spreads from such tomes as Lucy Lippard's Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object From 1966 to 1972. Does that title give you any idea of the conceptual rabbit hole awaiting you uptown? Springfield begins with the contents page of one scholarly text and moves on through various illustrations and indexes from others, concluding with a back cover complete with library barcode. Executed at 1:1 scale from real photocopies, Springfield's drawings nail the gray shadows between pages when an open book is forced down upon the platen, the out-of-focus striations beyond the copier lens's depth of field, and even the occasional hairs on the glass. Ideas expressed through language turned into art illustrated in books copied on machines and faithfully recreated in an ancient medium—that's what I'm talkin'!