If the international situation has you fretting about Armaggedon, cheer up: It turns out the apocalypse is going to be great fun, after all. At least that’s the vision according to art installations current in Chelsea. With shows that inaugurate their respective dealers’ new or expanded galleries, Matthew Ritchie’s takes its title, “The Universal Adversary,” from our government’s collective term for worst case scenario crisis prediction, while Barnaby Furnas explodes his trademark motif of shed blood to biblically epic proportions.
Their art is as photogenic as the glossies frequently prove the young art stars themselves to be—for all the portentuousness of their subject matter, neither prophet is a grizzly old man with a beard. Cheerful palette, spritely markmaking, sumptuous overload and dexterous skill are the pervasive qualities of both exhibitions. These are the masters of doomsday décor.
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