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.
Ellen Altfest, born in 1970 in New York, creates modestly scaled, hyerrealistic paintings of still lives, landscapes, and truncated male nudes that are exceptionally labored. All work is done from life, using natural light. Works take months, even years to complete. Futurelab first encountered her work, pictured below, at the 2013 Venice Biennale show, The Encyclopedic Palace, curated by Massimiliano Gioni.
Studio work from J. Lipovac, 2013
These little circle paintings are all about 10″ wide and done in acrylic. The first one is the most recent a piece of acrylic skin. The other two are on wood.
Tom LaDuke, Eyes for Voice, at CRG gallery, November through December, 2011