by James Lipovac
This image of a giant Venus Fly trap dwarfing a man in a trench coat standing underneath a menacingly heavy sky was a stand-out at Ghenie’s speculator painting performance at the 56th La Biennale di Venezia in the Romanian Pavilion.
I first came across Adrian Ghenie’s work at Pace in New York in March of 2013. A painter friend of mine encourage me to check out the show. The strength of the work is Ghenie’s ability to harmonize elements of abstract figuration and more realistic interpretations all in the same canvas.
I was excited to see what a fellow painter would do given the chance to represent their own nation, in this case, Romania. In his show “Darwin’s Room” Ghenie uses Darwin, evolution, and survival as themes for his grand brushwork and sheets of oil. He switches between and harmonizes intimate slow moments of finessed detail, larges areas of squeegeed paint, and thick sections of impasto.
This John Walker exhibition at the Alexandre Gallery is fantastic. A painter’s painter, these are about the material. These careful abstractions of a real place, a spot he found in Maine, the works are full of creative mark-making that will entice you jump back on the subway and head to the studio to try some of these moves yourself. Or at least that’s how it made us feel. Enjoy!
Paul McCarthy “The Dwarves, The Forests” at Hauser & Wirth, New York, 7 November – 17 December 2011