In Boston: Hannah Barrett and Sharon Horvath

Hannah Barrett: The Secret Society,” Howard Yezerski Gallery, Boston, MA. Through Oct. 30.

Sharon Horvath: Paintings and Drawings,” Victoria Munroe Fine Arts, Boston, MA. Through Oct. 31.

Sharon Horvath’s new series of densely layered line paintings at Victoria Munroe Fine Art is made with dispersed pigment and polymer on canvas. In the NYTimes, Grace Glueck has described Horvath’s magery as rebus-like and bizarre; she praises the imaginative draftsmanship, “which seems to make mystical contact with the unseen as well as the visible.” For more info and images, check out Horvath’s website.

Since 2000 Barrett has been painting invented portraits that are based on collages. Using sections from photographs or paintings, she reassembles these various parts into a new figure of ambiguous gender, pushing conventional male/female roles in portraiture. In the Boston Globe, Cate McQuaid suggests that the paintings are delightful and funny, but thinks Barrett is mining old material. “I don’t think she should abandon androgyny. Rather, a couple of paintings here with more context – such as the craggily handsome ‘Demoiselle Blackheath’ standing dockside – point her in a new direction, away from formal portraiture and toward narrative. To see these people as actors on their own stages, rather than stiffly posed for scrutiny, would open them up even more.” Read more.

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