Hiroshi Sugimoto at 601 Artspace is the Daily Pic by Blake Gopnik

01.15.14 9:53 PM ET

This is “Golden Eagle”, by Hiroshi Sugimoto, from the series of photos he took, early in his career, of the dioramas at the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. The image is included in a group show called “Para-real”, curated by Magda Sawon for the non-profit 601 Artspace in New York. It perfectly suits Sawon’s theme, since it keeps reality (of the ultra-sharp observational photo; of the natural world explored by scientists) in such delicate tension with fakery (of the diorama’s taxidermy and scenic illusions; of photography itself, and the illusions of life it presents).  Like the best of Sugimoto’s entrancing images, this one does a perfect job of opening a hole in the gallery wall, and then slamming it shut.

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