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.
William Steiger at Margaret Thatcher Projects
Willard Boepple at Lori Bookstein Fine Art
There is a limited range of drawing styles, which tends to be competent enough but generally stilted, illustrative, and a bit nerdish. One wonders whether the difference in treatment that does come across is purely a matter of the individual draftsman’s hand or whether different speeds of movement in the scenes depicted — orderly placid drudging through dreary East European streets versus violent clashes with riot-geared police in some steamy tropical town — account for these differences.