Troy Richards by Katya Kazakina

Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) — ``Ceci n’est pas… (This is not…)‘’ at Manhattan’s Sara Meltzer Gallery is a welcome reprieve from the art world frenzy, an ironic and low-keyed show.

Owing its name to Rene Magritte’s famous painting depicting a pipe and attesting that ``Ceci n’est pas une pipe,‘’ the multimedia group show distances itself from the summer’s European art blockbusters to embrace the humorous and absurd in the art world.

``Unknown Artists at Unheard of Prices’’ reads a pink neon wall sign by Alejandro Diaz. (Totally on the mark.)

``Naked Artist Inside’’ says Diaz’s handwritten cardboard sign at the entrance. (Entirely false.)

Christopher K. Ho and Troy Richards devise luxury itineraries for star artists based on their work. The duo has already produced ``& Leisure,‘’ a book of 16 illustrated itineraries. Eight pages from it were enlarged and are now exhibited as digital prints in the show. For instance, they’ve invented a shopping spree in Dubai for Barbara Kruger, the conceptual feminist artist. It includes a $1 million voucher for the mall of the Emirates (along with a discount card), a personal shopper and evening massages.

Michael Lindeman turned classified art ads into a 12-by-6- foot acrylic painting. Entitled, ``Paintings, Prints & Wall Hangings,’’ the work comprises eight announcements; each is painted on an individual canvas and placed above the next, as if in a newspaper column.

``Oil painting, very rare & beautiful, small/large, 4 for $250,’’ claims one panel. It would be great if such prices (and transparency) always existed in Chelsea.

Prices range from $99.99 to $25,000 (Lindeman’s work is $20,000). The show is on view through Aug. 17 at 525-531 W. 26th St.; +1-212-727-9330;

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