In the early 1990s, the artist Gary Simmons became well-known for a series in which he appropriated racist cartoon characters. They were striking chalkboard drawings and they employed a Simmons signature—his “erasure” technique, in which he uses his hands to wipe away bits of the image, giving it existential energy. That experiment opened the floodgates for a decades-long examination of racial stereotypes. In this latest exhibition, 1930s Looney Tunes characters—caricatures based on minstrelsy—appear caught in history’s wind tunnel. The color palette is black, white, and gray. —E.C.
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