Every art show consists of at least two elements: a defining concept and the art. The concept can be so straightforward as not to seem conceptual. For a career retrospective, the concept is, duh, the artist’s career. Sometimes, though, the concept can get tricky. That’s the case with “Reality Check,” which runs at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design through Dec. 7.
Usually, the trickier the concept, the farther-fetched the show — and the more dubious the art. That’s not the case here. The concept, photographs that look digitally altered but aren’t, is both intriguing and provocative. It turns upside down any number of assumptions that have become prevalent in looking at images. And the art is often spectacular.