Contributed by Greg Drasler / “Brush the Heat,” Georgia Elrod’s second solo show at Peninsula Gallery, presents a dozen eclectically composed paintings on stretched and unstretched canvas in a dawn-and-dusky palette, featuring wryly sensuous compositions of intimacy and display. In framing of the pieces as both theatrical and voyeuristic, Elrod aims to make the viewer complicit with the painter in the pleasure of looking. She succeeds.
With incisive material descriptions keyed to upholstery, lingerie, and vaudevillian staging, Elrod’s cartoon-ish visual humor leavens the psychological warp of imputed x-ray vision. Closely observed, brushily tactile fabric edges and paint applied as precisely as cartographer might apply it expand and articulate observations that are more affectionate than sardonic.
The mirroring devices – namely, point-of-view and reciprocal voyeurism – pull one in as one looks through. As for issues of privacy and display, the boudoir is the stage, and the stage is the boudoir. In a way, Elrod becomes an anatomist of the burlesque. In the revelatory staging of intimate scenes, the presentation of undergarments and associated things essentially from the inside out scans paradoxically as an assertion of privacy. It’s a neat visual and mental trick but also much more, suggesting the strange proximity of promiscuity and prudishness, brashness and diffidence, impulsiveness and restraint.
“Georgia Elrod: Brush the Heat,” Peninsula Gallery, 13 Monroe Street, New York, NY. Through October 22, 2023.
About the author: Greg Drasler has lived and painted in New York City for 40 years and is currently represented by the Betty Cuningham Gallery. Drasler has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Pollock Krasner grant, a NYFA Fellowship and a National Endowment. He teaches in the MFA and BFA Painting Programs at the Pratt institute.