Who is better than Stephen Tourlentes?

Well, the short answer is nobody, and if you don't believe me you really need to go see his show OF LENGTH AND MEASURES at Carroll and Sons. These pictures marry the poetics of the sublime with the hard reality of the administration of death. He makes clear the beauty of these landscapes comes at the expense of (and in fact is due to) the luminous presence of the prison complexes that house and administer death in the name of the people. That he is a brilliant technician is well on display in this exhibition but the thing that stays with me is that Tourlentes has used his considerable talents and technical acumen to focus on a part of contemporary life we care not to consider nor do we want to know how we benefit. (Many prisoners are stripped of their voting rights. Some of these complexes house thousands of prisoners, increasing the state's population and thus their political representation. Michelle Alexander probes this in THE NEW JIM CROW.) Pictured is an image of Ardmore, Alabama, Alabama Death House, 2004. Trust me, this cheesy jpg is nothing compared to Tourlentes's actual photos. He was my favorite to win the Foster Prize last time around. This exhibition shows why he is one of the best artists working right now. I'm glad he is really starting to get his due. Image