Commensurate with their disconcerting depth, Kossoff’s early paintings are literally and metaphorically heavy. The defiant sweeps of brush resemble nothing so much as tire tracks on a sodden road.
Stanley William Hayter in America: Paintings, Drawings and Prints, 1940-1950 at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art
Naumann has had the courage and good taste to break the medium barrier between Hayter’s experiments in printmaking, drawing and painting by presenting his work chronologically, regardless of – and mixing up – medium and support.
The resulting hang is very refreshing, and vindicating, to those afficionados sick to the hind teeth of Hayter being dismissed as a “technical wizard” in the etching studio, and therefore not, by extension, a “real” artist outside of it.
Chelsea, New York gallery goers with an astute eye for furnishings will have picked up on the cult status of French mid-century modernist Jean Prouvé. A vintage specimen of his legendary Potence lamp provides scant illumination and surreally displaced period charm to the very public back office at Sonnabend Gallery, for instance; a weatherworn school…
Dumas and Peyton are united in their limitations as well as their strengths—and, arguably, in their capacity to ensure that their limitations are strengths. Dumas’s photo-dependency gives her imagery political edge. Denial of sensory depth almost punishes viewers for yearning for it, reminding them of the urgencies of injustice and exploitation that this art – and their consciences – should be addressing. Peyton’s style wallows in its own patheticism, as if cloying, ephemeral, illustration-technique are symptoms of self-pity. Such knowingly retarded means sit perfectly with the basically adolescent emotion she taps, which is that of star-struck infatuation.
There are few abstract painters at work today who manage to push both metaphor and literalism so hard, simultaneously, as William Tillyer.