While skiing was admittedly the priority on a recent trip to Colorado, my art instincts won over when I spied Taryn Simon’s new solo exhibition through the window of Aspen’s Baldwin Gallery this week. Still suited up in my snow gear, I shuffled with clumsy excitement around the show.

Simon had chosen “search terms” as abstract as any phrase one plugs into the Goggle box, using as her resource the New York Public Library’s Picture Collection—an archive long-mined by artists, but one in danger of soon seeming completely archaic. Laying out the images she chose in vitrines made to resemble desktop windows, she called into question the evolving nature of curation, the act of archiving and retrieving, and the intervening hand of the artist.

Taryn Simon Cats

 Blame it on the altitude, but Cats had me giggling in spite of myself

Taryn Simon at Baldwin Gallery

 Installation view at Baldwin Gallery

Unlike the ba-dum-ching immediacy of so much punch-line art-fair art one sees these days, Simon’s work is a slower burn that grapples with larger ideas of literature, visual information, and how we process both in the digital age.

I continued to think about the show for days after; lucky for me, almost as soon as I got back to LA, a concurrent exhibition of Simon’s work had just opened at Gagosian Beverly Hills