Gallery shows

Maya Brym: Exceedingly magnanimous

Maya Brym, Parade, 2017, acrylic on panel, 30 x 40 inches

Contributed by Sharon Butler / Brooklyn artist Maya Brym�s vivid new paintings, on view at Frosch & Portmann through February 24, invigorate domestic life with a sense of lightness and clarity. Geometric shapes defined by stencils and masks are painted in bright colors with wide, transparent brushstrokes. The shapes conjure water bottles, bowls, fruit, potted plants, and small figurines. As the elements overlap, a basic illusion of space is created. Other complexifiers (ht to Jeff Bezos for coining this versatile term) like perspective and detailed rendering are largely gone from Brym�s lean menu of painting tricks. Thanks to her aggressive use of color and quirky translation of objects to canvas, however, the paintings are not ascetic but exceedingly magnanimous.

Maya Brym, Innermost, 2017, acrylic on panel, 30 x 40 inches
Maya Brym, High Noon, 2018, acrylic on panel, 36 x 48 inches
Maya Brym, High Water, 2017, acrylic on panel, 36 x 24 inches
Maya Brym, Rocket, 2016, acrylic on panel, 30 x 40 inches

The tabletop tableaux that Brym depicts, painted larger than life, feature object shapes that hover in the foreground, while the landscape elements in the rear appear on the horizon. As the distance compresses in two dimensions, the viewer encounters a shift in scale. Mountains and trees are now akin to still-life elements, and the objects become monumental. Brym�s lively paintings are full of joy and, corny though it sounds, they make me feel as though spring and the new beginnings it brings are right around the corner.

Maya Brym: Threshold,” Frosch & Portmann, LES, New York, NY. Through February 24, 2019.

Related posts:
Ginny Casey: Disembodied hands and lumps of clay in Philadelphia
Becky Suss: The mid-century Modern aesthetic
Two Coats Selected Gallery Guide: January 2019


  1. In French, still-life is called “nature-morte” (dead-nature),
    but here it would be a mistake to say that because life sparks everywhere.
    And it is why I love these tableaux .

  2. Don�t apologize for �corny�, or cozy, warm, cheerful, exuberant, pleasant, charming, delightful or any of the other banished feelings or words that one dare not express lest we be condemned to attack as philistine.

    Some brave, like Fairfield Porter, May attempt to express these defective views just because the prevailing elite proclaim their irrelevance.

  3. Thanks. And for anyone who likes her work as much as you (and I) do, they might enjoy reading further reflections on the show on Cathy’s blog….

  4. Thanks for sharing the link.”Like a magician showing you exactly how it�s done; it doesn�t matter, it still works, we see how we can�t help but see….�

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *