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Jacques Henri Lartigue
Simone and Charles Sabouret, Saint Moritz, Switzerland, 1913
printed ca. 1963
Howard Greenberg Gallery
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by Alexandra Anderson-Spivy

As the fall art season arrived in an anything-but-a-blockbuster frame of mind, I found myself captivated by some shows of deceptively modest, distinctly eccentric works. The biggest surprise were the dozen or so exquisitely morbid grisaille dioramas bathed in semi-darkness at the remodeled Parsons New School galleries at Fifth Avenue and East 12th Street. This dystopian rummage-sale universe is the creation of a pair of highly original animators best known for their very short, very strange stop-frame films. Timothy and Stephen Quay, reclusive identical twins from Pennsylvania, now living in London, where they hand make their obsessively detailed, miniature architectural fantasies that way out-weird Joseph Cornell and channel Arthur Rackham via Franz Kafka and grim post-war Polish animation.