New York Photo Review
NYPR Archives - 2010

Lydia Panas
Mark of Abel
reviewer #1

Lydia Panas presents the viewer with a series of smart, contemporary, 21st century color, small group portraits, seemingly of various members of extended families. If that last phrase seems a little vague, it is. Panas teases us with both the show title and the names of the individual pictures. What exactly is the Mark of Abel? The mark of Cain was often thought to be dark skin, and Panas’s world is (almost) entirely white, and there are definite hints at family and brothers in some of the titles, but she is maddeningly unspecific about the relationships between the people she shows.

The poor reviewer is forced to depend on his own eyes to see what is in front of him, which fortunately turned out to be mildly pleasurable. All the pictures are outdoors, and the temperatures mild. Panas has a rapport with the subjects and manages to capture a sort of other-worldly look about them. And there are definitely some genes shared. We start to see the turn of the mouth, the shape of the eyebrow, the characteristic slouch. But in the end the pictures seem to be missing the Sunday magazine article explaining them. This reviewer wanted to turn the check-list upside-down to see the answers on who really was related to whom, and why were they all walking around in the woods anyway?

Lydia Panas
Mark of Abel

Foley Gallery
548 W 28th St. 2nd Fl
Chelsea         Map

212 244 9081

Sunday, February 14 to
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Hours: Tues - Sat, 12 to 6