Abdi’s museum show “fills a glorified broom closet,” called “undergraduate”

One of Abdi Farah’s prizes for winning Bravo’s Work of Art, a show at the Brooklyn Museum, opened Saturday, and a The New York Times critic slams it , both for his “undergraduate” approach and for the actual space.

Karen Rosenberg writes that his pieces “that were shown in the spacious Phillips galleries on the show’s finale are crammed into the Brooklyn’s much smaller room with a minimum of editing,” and notes that “The Brooklyn Museum has been pilloried for its agreement to mount the show.” Perhaps because of that, Abdi’s work “fills a glorified broom closet” and “looked much better on television.”

As to his art, she writes that Abdi’s “cast resin sculptures of fallen men have energy and a kind of grace” but feature “a conceptual crutch” that “imply that the artist doesn’t trust his own ability to make gesture convey meaning,” and says his “paintings are less impressive, tortured expressionist self-portraits with an obvious debt to Photoshop image filters.”

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