Matched with the rose paintings are grisaille works derived from the pages of a ’70s-era home-decorating book whose color has been all but leached out. As with the rose paintings, Hurd essentially re-presents the pages as he found them, but a close look deciphers hilarious double-entendres in the captioning texts. Sometimes the jokes come from dated portrayals
of the requirements of boys’ and girls’ rooms, other times they derive from the florid language of the decorator — "Tissue-paper leaves and flowers fill the wall-hung lavabo and blossom on the pegboard lollipop tree." In all of these works, Hurd chases down subject matter considered taboo in serious art — namely the pretty and the decorative — and roughs it up to make it presentable to us jaded and cynical late-20th-century viewers. Enjoy ment of his work for its aesthetic qualities is indeed possible; it just comes with a strong shot of self-recognition that the conceptual, the ironic and the sardonic form a large part of our notion of aesthetics at this stage in the history of art.