Contributed by Margaret McCann / “At the Center of the Onion is Another Onion” is Polish painter Krzysztof Grzybacz’s first solo show at Harkawik. Sturdy yet subtle, his paintings are as elliptical as they are intense. Beyond unpeeling their complexity, his work offers consideration of a larger onion, that of figurative painting’s path through eastern Europe.
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Julie Heffernan’s splendid circuses
Contributed by Margaret McCann / En masse in Hirschl & Adler’s brimming rooms, Julie Heffernan’s colorful, busy paintings overwhelm like a pride of peacocks. Her solo show “The Swamps are Pink with June,” a line from an Emily Dickinson poem, evokes the hope nature can inspire. This plays out in iconography, a saturated palette, and the adoption of tree diagrams as compositional trellises, which poise the accretion of experience against spontaneous flowerings from the unconscious.
Don Doe’s pulp fictions
Contributed by Margaret McCann / The covetous, dismissive, playful title of Don Doe’s 490 Atlantic show, “I’ll Have What They’re Having,” aptly conveys the work’s lively yet frustrated romanticism. Painting from collages, Doe mixes bodies and genders, scale and spatial orientation, subject and object, high and low culture – all held together in a solid but illogical cubistic order. The few sculptures included show sophisticated facility and prioritize the grotesque. The viewer is manipulated through surprising twists and turns.
Issy Wood’s dark mirror
Contributed by Margaret McCann / Issy Wood’s paintings in “Time Sensitive” at Michael Werner gallery render transient facets of our daily simulacrum timeless. As though passed through a vintage filter, they seem to recall a. Claude glass, an 18th c pocket-sized, toned mirror that could turn any scrappy piece of wilderness into “a vision of painterly charm: framed and set apart from the rest of the landscape, color palette simplified, bathed in gentle, hazy light.” Aided by a new picturesque aesthetic that combined “the sweetness of the beautiful, cut with some of the sublime’s majestic terror,” ramblers who couldn’t afford the Grand Tour found beauty in local scenery with this handy device. Today one need not even venture outdoors to see anything new. Overstimulation awaits on a quick screen scroll, shifting from monuments to corrective braces to kittens to a Ukrainian battlefield in seconds. Woods slows this high-low flow, turning incongruous images fished from the cyber-stream into often amusing visual meditations with surprising emotional depth.
Cathy Diamond and Laurie Fader: The romance of painting
Contributed by Margaret McCann / Stylistic affinities hold the paintings of Cathy Diamond and Laurie Fader in “Luscious Wasteland” at Radiator Gallery in amicable rapport, before differences in sensibility emerge. Each painter mines the legacies of German Expressionism and American Abstract Expressionism, among other influences, as confident and direct impulses draw on banks of personal experience. Diamond’s airy but compact Woods in Vermont could have been painted from observation, but reads as an excited engagement with Modernist painting vocabulary more than with motif. Its accrual of rough yet precisely individual marks quickly bunches together. Our eyes dart around its prismatic surface, echoing how one might, in such a dappled thicket, quickly survey a way around the center bottom bramble to reach light.
Yedidya Hershberg: Toward the Uncanny Valley
Contributed by Margaret McCann / As though having carefully observed the painter paint them, Israeli painter Yedidya Hershberg’s figures, on view at Sugarlift, appear to now scrutinize the viewer.
Sister selves: Sasha Gordon and Maud Madsen
Contributed by Margaret McCann / In Sasha Gordon’s “The Hands of Others” at Jeffrey Deitch and Maud Madsen’s “Daisy Chain” at Marianne Boesky, fleshy females are pressed on the picture planes as if between corporeality and social stress. All are self-portraits, but the figures read more as types performing hidden allegories.
Memento Vivere: Danica Lundy at Magenta Plains
Contributed by Margaret McCann / Like a strobe light gifted with consciousness, Danica Lundy lets whatever she sees point a way through a painting. The six works in �Three Hole Punch� at Magenta Plains are informed by memories of soccer practice, parties, school, and more � themes that function mainly as armatures for corporeal drama and mesmerizing painting detail.
Two Coats Selected Gallery Guide: October 2021
UPDATED OCT 23 / Welcome to the Two Coats of Paint painting-centric guide to gallery exhibitions in New York City.
Two Coats Selected Gallery Guide: September 2021
Welcome to the Two Coats of Paint painting-centric guide to gallery exhibitions in New York City. There’s a lot to see this month. We’re in the thick of hurricane season, with Tropical Storms Kate and Larry currently brewing over the Atlantic, so let’s hope inclement weather doesn’t get in the way.