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Orlan at Stefan Stux Gallery
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Ups and Downs
by Jerry Saltz


Chelsea basically went off in our faces three weeks ago, when more than 125 shows of contemporary art opened over the first three days of the season. Despite rampant Chelsea-bashing, a gallery isn't bad because it's there or better because it's not, although the place can really get on your nerves. Whatever. Currently there's a smattering of highs and lows in downtown galleries. A simultaneous high and low turns up at Nicole Klagsbrun, where "Interstate," curated by Adam McEwen, continues this summer's unbridled testosterone binge, which saw group shows averaging 18 percent women. Of "Interstate"'s 22 artists, only three are female -- surprising in a show curated by a good, smart male artist. Apart from this gross inequity and the fact that the vast majority of solo shows this month are by men, "Interstate" ably cruises the psychic highways of America, portraying an enervated, deluded, oblivious realm. Especially gripping are Jeremy Deller's almost end-times Texas documentary and Donald Judd's 1968 American flag in negative colors, which creates a malleable black hole of hate, hope and irony.

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