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Jonathan Goodman

JONATHAN GOODMAN is a teacher and author specializing in Asian art, about which he has been writing for more than twenty years.

In Conversation

PETAH COYNE with Jonathan Goodman

Petah Coyne, now entering maturity as an artist, is anything but waning in her art. Her current show in Galerie Lelong & Co. is an outstanding compilation of pieces that incorporate taxidermied birds, which are pinned to or inserted into what are usually decorative elements or large masses of material—including waxed flowers and inchoate bodies of cloth fabric. Helped by a team of collaborators, Coyne continues to address the large, imaginative themes of her career.

LORI SIKORSKI

Brooklyn artist Lori Sikorski recently staged an interactive exhibition that looks at our current military involvement in the Middle East, initially begun as a response to the destruction of the World Trade Center, a local event, but which passed quickly into long-term, distant hostilities.

DAVID SMITH Cubes and Anarchy

Born in Decatur, Indiana, David Smith (1906 – 1965), arguably one of America’s greatest 20th-century sculptors, came from a tradition of craftsmen; his great-grandfather was a blacksmith, and his father an engineer and inventor.

MICHIEL CEULERS Des Malentendus et le temps perdu

First things first: You are still missed as one of the most interesting abstract painters working after the Second World War. Your work shows a prescient regard for painting issues that are still ongoing today, and there is a purity in your efforts that is memorable.

BRIAN BELOTT
A Goosh Noosh

Brian Belott’s enthusiasm for glittering decoration is amply evident in this excellent show, which proves that even preciousness can be transformed into something inspired and forceful, that is, if you parody your own treatment of materials.

Devin Powers, Paintings

For those of us still interested in keeping the practice of painting flourishing, the show by Devin Powers, located in the front room of the Lesley Heller Workspace, makes it clear that the art form is indeed live and well.

MICHAEL BALLOU Raw/Cooked

Under the auspices of the exhibition series Raw/Cooked, Michael Ballou presents a smart and challenging installment within the Brooklyn Museum’s institutional walls.

LIU ZHENG Dream Shock

About 15 years ago, Beijing-based photographer Liu Zheng was in the midst of a project of epic proportions: a photographic survey of the Chinese people that took him to morgues and nunneries, among other places.

Cai Jin: Return to the Source

Cai Jin, famous for a 20-year-long obsession with the banana plant, has changed her focus. In her recent show with the Beijing satellite gallery of New York’s Chambers Fine Art, she has concentrated on what she calls landscape paintings.

ANNE TRUITT Threshold: Works from the 1970s

Anne Truitt’s career looks larger and larger as time goes on. Born in Baltimore, educated at Bryn Mawr in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and working most of her life in Washington, D.C., Truitt developed a radically spare aesthetic, which slightly prefigured the sleek, industrial forms of 1960s Minimalism.

New Originals at Gallery HO

Despite their differences in themes and materials, the three female Brooklyn-based artists—Fay Ku, Hiba Schahbaz, and Manju Shandler—in Gallery HO’s New Originals share a common premise: the use of challenging subject matter, public and private, for the creation of contemporary art.

WILLIAM PANGBURN

William Pangburn’s strong show, consisting of an installation and a sequence of small paintings, has water as a major theme. Pangburn, a longtime resident of Tribeca, New York’s venerable art neighborhood, belongs to the tradition of the New York School. Sixty years old, he represents the still-vital energies of a legacy some might feel is moribund.

Leslie Wayne, Rags

Leslie Wayne’s sharp show of new work continues her interest in paint not as an embellishment on canvas but rather a physical material in its own right. She’s always done fine things with the medium, but in this exhibition, entitled Rags, the artist takes her ongoing, nearly obsessive interest in oil paint to a new level, draping paint so that it bends and folds as fabric might.

WILL CORWIN & NEIL GREENBERG at the Staten Island Arts Culture Lounge

Collaborators Will Corwin (a contributor to the Brooklyn Rail) and Neil Greenberg have put together an interactive project called The Great Richmond. Installed in the lounge of Staten Island Arts at the Staten Island ferry termi, the installation re-envisions Staten Island through sculptures by Corwin and schematic maps by Greenberg.

ZIN HELENA SONG: Beyond Color

Zin Helena Song is a painter of real precision and technical acuity. For the past few years, she has been painting on wooden sculptures, whose angles and structure reach out from the wall in the direction of her audience. In this very good show she continues to make similar pieces, but adds to her repertoire flat pictures, also done on wood.

MARGARET EVANGELINE An Injured Armory

The title of Margaret Evangeline’s show was An Injured Armory. In this body of work, the artist, whose son served in the Iraq War, has turned to allegorical protest rather than specify the particulars of an actual historical conflict. So her exhibition, which was small but powerful, consisted of several stainless-steel panels that incorporated randomly spaced puncture holes, resulting from bullets fired by Evangeline herself at a military shooting range.

Type as Image

Type as Image, organized by a young, New York-based curator named Jill Coklan, did an excellent job of presenting three artists who work with typefaces as part of their imagery.

CHOONG SUP LIM Void

Choong Sup Lim is a mature Korean artist who has spent many years working in New York City, where he has lived since 1973. Lim has a studio in Tribeca, where he puts together his quietly original sculptures and makes paintings that acknowledge Western abstraction, even as he places an emphasis on traditional Asian imagery and painting techniques.

KYEUNG MOOK CHOI

In a small but attractive space in Dumbo, Korean painter Kyeung Mook Choi presented ink paintings that bridge traditional Asian art and the knotty necessities of contemporary painting.

MATT KLEBERG

The work in Matt Kleberg’s two recent exhibitions—brightly-colored, striped paintings that describe interior or architectural spaces—slowly but surely takes over the viewer’s attention.

Ford Crull, New Paintings

Ford Crull is a mature painter who has been involved in the New York art scene since the 1980s. His sprawling, attractively disheveled abstract work shows strong feelings for the nonobjective style, in which random patterns and complex densities of paint build up to a surface of intricacy and abandon.

JEAN SHIN Surface Tension

Jean Shin is well known for her large installations consisting of accumulated objects—disparate artifacts such as prescription pill bottles, sports trophies, sweaters, and swathes of fabric—given to her by people in the community where the art environment takes place.

CARL BOUTARD Life is Elsewhere

Swedish-born, Berlin-based sculptor Carl Boutard is currently living in New York City on a residency at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP). His exhibition, Life is Elsewhere, installed in the long, somewhat narrow space of TURN Gallery, consists of eight sculptures made from paper and cardboard, rather than the bronze and wood he usually works with for both indoor sculpture and outdoor projects.

CHUNG SANG-HWA

The Korean artist Chung Sang-Hwa, now in his mid-eighties, is best known as a participant in the Tansaekhwa, or Korean monochrome painting movement. He has traveled greatly in the West and spent extensive time in Paris, where he first moved in 1967 and likely picked up some of the abstract painting concerns facing Western artists at the time.

PETER SHIRE

The argument in which craft is diminished as art is by now cliché. The shift in art-making of the last two generations has been toward a complete expansion of what art can be, and craft is included in this widening of art’s definition.

Sean Scully Wall of Light Cubed

Increasingly, the Irish-born, New York-based Sean Scully is viewed as one of the most gifted artists of his generation. Likely best known for the painting series “Wall of Light,” Scully has practiced a variation on the New York School, giving it a European sadness as well as continuing the American penchant for expressiveness.

AARON CURRY Buzz Kill

Aaron Curry has created an allover environmental installation for the relatively small gallery space at Michael Werner. Yet, despite the boundaries of a limited room, or perhaps because of them, he has successfully created an environment whose mixed influences demonstrate just how well the artist has done with internalizing other artists’ visions and making them his own.

LEBBEUS WOODS Architect

Lebbeus Woods’s death in 2012 was a considerable loss to the architectural world, as the fine new show of his drawings and maquettes at The Drawing Center demonstrates. Woods’s capacity as a gifted technician and radical theorist of contemporary architecture resulted in a singular body of work that undermined current notions of how to successfully create places in which to live and work.

DEREK FORDJOUR The Big Game

Still in grad school at Hunter College’s fine arts program, the artist Derek Fordjour has nonetheless pulled off a terrific, completely professional show of paintings and sculptures.

Postwar Women

Postwar Women concentrates on the work of women who attended the Art Students League, emphasizing art made between 1945 and 1965 and including pieces created before and after those periods. The League has been particularly open to women, presenting them with the chance to study beginning in the middle of the 19th century (it opened in 1875).

THOMAS SCHEIBITZ A Panoramic View of Basic Events

Born in Germany and living in Berlin, artist Thomas Scheibitz is a solidly established painter who is pushing abstraction into new directions. Not unlike our Thomas Nozkowski, Scheibitz seeks patterns that relate to the world beyond the self.

WHITNEY CLAFLIN As Long As You Get To Be Somebody’s Slave, Too

Whitney Claflin is a young, Yale-educated painter who creates raw effects that remain in the thoughts of her viewers long after they have made their way from the gallery.

JOANNE GRÜNE-YANOFF Between the Skin and the Prop

A space without a permanent home, the International Fine Arts Consortium— temporarily located on Delancey Street on the Lower East Side, is showing the collage work and correspondence of Joanne Grüne-Yanoff, an American artist who lives and works in Stockholm. The smallish individual works nicely reflect Grüne-Yanoff’s ongoing interest in nature: small butterflies decorate the letters written between herself and Monica L. Miller, a professor of American and African-American literature at Barnard College; they discuss the imagery from an earlier show by the artist that Miller saw in Stockholm.

BENJAMIN COTTAM

For more than a year now, curator Lisa Banner, who graduated with a doctorate on 17th-century patronage and collecting in Spain from the Institute of Fine Arts, has been curating contemporary art exhibitions in two small vitrines found on the steps of the Institute’s Great Hall.

VINCENZO AGNETTI: Territories

Vincenzo Agnetti (1926 – 1981) was a major figure during the post-war period of Italian avant-garde art. A member of the artist collective that ran the gallery and journal Azimut(h), Agnetti worked with such Italian luminaries as Enrico Castellani and Piero Manzoni.

BARRY MCGEE

Some 20 years ago San Francisco artist Barry McGee was part of the art scene’s graffiti movement there. Posted on the walls of the city, his images of bums and aboriginal faces were so good that one inevitably felt he would go on to larger, more mainstream recognition—and so he has in this show at Cheim & Read, his first New York gallery exhibition in eight years.

LAURA KINA Blue Hawai’i

As an Asian-American painter of mixed background, Laura Kina creates work that is as culturally relevant as it is emotionally resonant. Her father, who is of Japanese descent, grew up in Hawai’i, where he worked on sugarcane plantations before moving to the American mainland to become a doctor.

Miguel Trelles

Miguel Trelles’s paintings are an amalgam of strikingly different cultures and traditions. Inevitably, the work concerns the borrowing of other painting histories. The subject matter is the Caribbean landscape and the indigenous culture of Trelles’ native Puerto Rico, as well as the Chinese landscape legacy of mountains, streams, and trees.

Jack Youngerman: Cut-Ups

Youngerman's painting is characterized by hard edges and bright colors; the current painted collages on view are no exception. The art’s hard-edge geometry belongs to a tradition of working in the 1940s and ’50s, albeit a smaller one than the dominant abstract expressionism of the time.

3: Brenda Goodman, Christina Tenaglia, and Marie Vickerilla

Goodman, Vickerilla, and Tenaglia all demonstrate a thorough knowledge of modernism and its penchants for abstraction, but they are not constrained by the past. All three are excellent artists dedicated to visual change.

DON VAN VLIET: WORKS ON PAPER

Don Van Vliet—better known as the late, great rock singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Captain Beefheart, who collaborated with the equally gifted guitarist and composer Frank Zappa in the 1970s—made visual art even as he was establishing himself as one of the most experimental and inspired musicians in rock and roll.

Downtown Painting

As I write, the nonagenarian artist Alex Katz, long a mainstay of downtown painting, is involved into two major shows: the one he has curated at Peter Freeman’s gallery and the other is an extraordinary show of recent work at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in Harlem. The first exhibition establishes him, very quickly, as a curator of repute, while the second makes it clear that Katz is moving into a territory wholly his own, particularly in the wonderful scenic studies that pass on, completely successfully, his love of nature.

LOUISE FISHMAN

Louise Fishman’s new show substantiates, yet again, her importance as an Abstract Expressionist painter. Her current group of paintings, in which blue and, to a lesser extent, green predominate, have been inspired by her residency at the Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice.

ZAUN LEE Borders

Zaun Lee is a young, New York-based abstract painter who comes from Seoul, South Korea.

Ricardo Brey: Doble Existencia / Double Existence

Double Existence presents works on paper and sculpture that offers the "double" perspective of someone coming from a culture very different from the one he lives and works in now; it may also be true that "double existence" refers to the double life—internal and external—we experience during the course of our existence.

SAUL FLETCHER

Saul Fletcher’s striking black-and-white photographs were taken last year in his studio in Berlin, where he has recently moved.

CAROL SZYMANSKI A Distance As Close As It Can Be

Carol Szymanski, a talented and established sculptor and conceptual artist, who has worked both in New York and London, put up her fourth solo show at Elga Wimmer Gallery.

MEL KENDRICK: Woodblock Drawings

Based in New York since 1971, Mel Kendrick is best known as a sculptor, though he has consistently worked on drawings. This practice goes back a long time—the six woodblock works on exhibit date from 1992 to 1993.

BRENDA GOODMAN: New Work

Brenda Goodman spent many years painting remarkable self-portraits, in which she is sometimes thinner but usually heavy, in her studio on the Bowery in lower Manhattan. But in recent years she has moved to the Catskills, where she continues to practice her art.

BETTINA BLOHM

German-born, Berlin- and New York-based artist Bettina Blohm paints gouache and acrylic works that rely on their lyricism to affect the viewer. Her designs are simple but never simplistic; the resolutely abstract works may stem, as she puts it, from “something seen,” but she takes care to “collect visual ideas” and produces colorful, emotionally compelling paintings through rhythm and repetition.

Analia Segal: Contra la pared

Analia Segal is a New York-based artist, but before she arrived in the States nearly twenty years ago, her life in Argentina was under the cloud of the Argentinian dictator, Jorge Rafael Videla, who took power when Segal was only seven years old. It was a time of extraordinary violence, and although the artist suffered no direct harm herself, she was marked by the general sense of disorder and genuine mayhem taking place. This deep sense of unease surfaces in, Analia Segal: contra la pared, which in Spanish means “against the wall” or “cornered.&rdquo.

Borderless Map: Taiwanese Painting Now

Taiwanese contemporary art has always suffered in comparison with the work of China—not only because the two cultures are different, but also because the West has been entranced by the imperial impulse of the mainland.

QIU XIAOFEI Double Pendulum

Qiu Xiaofei, who lives and works in Beijing, studied painting there at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, receiving his degree in 2002. Although he first began as a figurative artist, his art now is a luxurious mélange of abstraction, geometric forms such as spheres, and luscious impasto highly reminiscent of the New York School.

LEE BUL

Lee Bul presented a striking body of work for her recent show, which included an installation, several individual sculptures, and India ink and acrylic paintings. All the works in this compelling exhibition address visionary attitudes toward form, inspired in one case by the German architect and urban planner, Bruno Taut (1880 – 1938), whose idealized drawings influenced Weimar buildings.

Josh Jefferson Head First

or an artist to cross over from his or her own milieu to making expressively raw art is hardly new. It no longer matters who makes the art, so long as we see it as possessing life, integrity, and (some) craft. Still, ever since the exuberant artworks of East Village in the 1970s, we tend to identify roughness, energy, and charismatic intensity as the purview of the young artist, who, for the most part, has identified with a rough-and-tumble persona—a far cry from the exquisite nuance and sensitivity we typically ascribe to the historical, cultured painter.

Naomi Campbell: Bread and Circuses

At a time when the genetic modification of foods is a genuine threat to human well being, Brooklyn-based artist Naomi Campbell has created a hybridization of her own, merging her scientific interests with a creative investigation of genetics and technology. Her recent exhibition, Bread and Circuses, reflects her ongoing interest in engineered food staples, most especially corn, which, according to Campbell, has existed for 80,000 years.

Material Tak

It looks like there is an increasingly vital art scene in some of the tough urban areas of New Jersey, most especially Newark and Jersey City, where the cost of studio space is much more reasonable than in the chic, art-oriented neighborhoods of New York.

SUSANNA HELLER Phantom Pain

The concept behind Susanna Heller’s affecting and evocative exhibition at MagnanMetz is based on her husband Bill’s suffering.

PAULA MODERSOHN-BECKER

As the gallery essay points out, Paula Modersohn-Becker was more or less unrecognized as a painter when she died at the age of thirty-one in 1907. But her posthumous reputation rose quickly, in Germany today, she is looked on as a major presence in modern art (although awareness of her achievement is not so well established in America).

EMI ANRAKUJI O Mapa

In this solo show by Emi Anrakuji, her fourth at the gallery Miyako Yoshinaga, the artist has entitled the exhibition O Mapa, which translates to “The Map” in Portuguese.

HIBA SCHABAZ Hanged with Roses

Hiba Schahbaz was trained as a miniaturist painter by the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan. Her early work, as well has her art now, powerfully combine high technical skill, a sense of the female position in Muslim Pakistan, and a slightly troubled, troubling feeling for herself as a painter who has moved from a highly hierarchical culture to America, where aesthetic pluralism can confuse a classically trained artist.

The Safarani Sisters: Reincarnation

The fourteen works on view are paintings with small videos projected onto them. The paintings are of interiors, usually a bit dark and slightly melancholic in atmosphere, that are illuminated by bright windows with curtains.

HISAKO KOBAYASHI Said in Silence

Hisako Kobayashi has lived for many years on the edge of the East Village, where she also maintains a studio.

MARTIN ROTH: In May 2017 I cultivated a piece of land in Midtown Manhattan nurtured by tweets

Martin Roth, an artist who has often worked with nature—in 2009 one of his projects, I lived with sheep in Europe, consisted of living with a herd of sheep in Europe—excels at combining the outside world with sophisticated insights into politics and its relations with art and life. At his midtown exhibition at the Austrian Cultural Forum, In May 2017 I cultivated a piece of land in Midtown Manhattan nurtured by tweets, the pungent scent of more than two hundred lavender plants leads the viewer down two flights of stairs, into the basement of the Forum’s building on East 52nd Street near Fifth Avenue.

ENTANG WIHARSO

The flurry of reviews accompanying the opening of Indonesian artist Entang Wiharso’s solo show indicates that the New York art world is now ready for an influx of culture from Southeast Asia.

MARTÍN RAMÍREZ:
A Journey

Certainly, the drawings construct a visual world of specificity and independence. As time goes on, they may possibly be understood as efforts to sustain a cultural heritage that was not easy to keep alive.

Rhys Lee: Good Boy and Kevin Bourgeois: Wall of Sound

In these two shows gallery visitors have the opportunity to view two very different, but very gifted artists.

Michael Eade: past is present is future

Michael Eade is an American artist showing at Echo He’s Fou Gallery, located in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The artists shown at He’s gallery are mostly from Mainland China, reflecting her background, but the gallerist also shows non-Chinese artists, and Eade is one of them.

SERENA BOCCHINO Paintings

he New York School persists in the lively abstractions of New York painter Serena Bocchino. Inevitably, her work calls to mind the 1940s and ’50s, when gestural abstraction governed the art scene.

MARTHA DIAMOND

Martha Diamond: Recent Paintings is a terrific show of forty-one small abstract paintings, done since 2002, continuing her ongoing exploration of a world characterized both by rough figuration and abstraction. She is a true New York artist, a veteran of the still active and productive decades of the New York School whose work demonstrates a predilection not so much for the lyric, gestural abstraction we know so well in the city, but a more uncouth reflection of urban life.

Hearne Pardee: N/S/E/W: Painting | Drawing | Collage

Hearne Pardee maintains a double life: one in the suburbs of Davis, California, where he teaches in the university’s fine arts department and another in New York City, where he keeps a studio on the edge of Harlem and maintains contacts in the city’s art world.

Kyoung eun Kang:
1402 Seok-Dong

Kyoung eun Kang is a Korean-born artist who took her BFA (2003) and MFA (2005) at Hong-Ik University in Seoul before coming to New York, where she received her second MFA from Parsons in 2009.

YARITJI YOUNG + TJALA ARTS: APY LANDS

This group show features the work of women indigenous artists who belong to the artistic collective Tjala Arts, located in south Australia in Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara, the full name of the acronym “APY” used in the title of the exhibition.

A.R. PENCK New Paintings

A.R. Penck has been part of the German imagination since the early 1960s, when his interest in information systems and all manner of signs was ahead of its time.

Siah Armajani

Born in 1939, Siah Armajani has become one of America’s most venerable sculptors. Originally from Iran, the artist came to Minnesota in 1960 to study at Macalester College, where he has since stayed and, over the last fifty years, produced a remarkable body of work closely tied to the American democratic tradition and poetry.

PETER GALLO

Peter Gallo’s interests are literary as well as painterly, frequently if not always including words or phrases in his eccentric but enjoyable art.

SANDRO CHIA

The man sits pensively, smiling and looking up at them as they travel freely through the sky. What is he dreaming of?

LIN YAN:
Gateway

Lin Yan, an established sculptor who has been living in New York since 1993, comes from a well-known artist family based in Beijing.

PHILIP PEARLSTEIN: Facing You

The exhibition is proof that—as a nonagenarian—Pearlstein continues to paint remarkably well, reasserting his decades-long stature as a major American realist.

NANETTE CARTER:
An Act of Balance

Nanette Carter’s first solo show at Skoto Gallery, An Act of Balance, comprises abstract paintings made with oil paints, oil sticks, and pencil on collaged mylar. Educated at Oberlin College and Pratt Institute (where she has been teaching for some time) Carter has developed a painting style that consists of abstract designs and effects superimposed on top of each other in ways that emphasize chance. The overall form of each work is deliberately eccentric; little regularity is found on the outside edges, which curve and veer and jut out, emphasizing idiosyncratic form over tightly considered composition.

JAMES CASTLE:
People, Places & Things

James Castle was deaf artist who lived much of his life on subsistence farms in rural Idaho and neither pursued nor received recognition for his remarkable art during his lifetime. Now recognized as a master—the subject of major shows at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2008 and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in 2011—Castle made small, intimate works of art composed of soot and spit, materials he turned into agents of prodigious, if deeply personal, achievement.

BOSCO SODI Ubi Sunt

Mexican-born, New York-based Bosco Sodi’s exhibition of recent canvases falls in between the categories of sculpture and painting. Each of the 12 paintings on view has a thick surface whose crust has, in many areas, broken away from other parts of the painting.

Vicky Colombet: Paintings from 2007 – 2018

Vicky Colombet’s exhibition, Paintings from 2007 – 2018, is serving as a prelude to a major exhibition that will take place at the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris in March 2020, for which Colombet will develop a visual dialogue with the great artist. Colombet, a painter of achieved subtlety, is offering a series of pure landscapes—a departure from her earlier work, which suggested stony outcrops and other mountainous depictions.

Wang Yan Cheng

Wang Yan Cheng offers a large show of paintings at Acquavella Galleries, where his Abstract Expressionist canvases appear very much like a slightly foreign version of an idiom originated and championed in New York.

The Surface of the East Coast

A consortium of five New York galleries have mostly reproduced a French museum show with the same name—The Surface of the East Coast—held in Nice in the summer of 2017. Some twenty-two of the twenty-four artists in its European version are offered on our side of the Atlantic; the purpose of the exhibition, curated by Marie Maertens, was to pair artists from the late 1960s in France, who belonged to the Supports/Surfaces movement active at the time—its participants wanted to meld Marxist and Freudian thought, along with contemporary American criticism—with abstraction.

CLARENCE SCHMIDT: Let's Call it Hope

Clarence Schmidt, remarkable poet of homespun constructions, was raised in Astoria, Queens, but made his way to the Woodstock area in the late 1930s. Trained as a mason, he acquired land on which he would build a remarkable house, alive with scores of windows.

JESSE CHUN:
Name Against the Same Sound

Conceptual artist Jesse Chun plays with the social attributes and political implications of the English language.

PEGGY CYPHERS Animal Spirits

Peggy Cyphers has put on a show of startling originality at the Proposition.

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The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2019

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