“Jackie Gendel and Valerie Hegarty,” CTRL Gallery, Houston, TX. Through Jan. 12.
Brooklynites Jackie Gendel and Valerie Hegarty have shipped their paintings off to Houston for a show at CTRL. Gendel, what I call a classic pentimenti-ist, paints and over-paints, obliterating layers of imagery in the process, while leaving some vestiges of the painting’s earlier states. Hegarty, who’s work is more conceptual, re-creates iconic American paintings by artists such as Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, Winslow Homer, Gilbert Stuart and Charles Wilson Peale, offering various scenarios for the physical deterioration of a work of art. In the Houston Press, Nick Keppler describes the paintings. “At the foreground of Houston-born, now New York-based artist Jackie Gendel’s work are simple faces or groups of stick figure-like people. ‘The Stylist’ features a simply drawn woman up front, with layer upon layer of oil paint in the background; it’s as if Gendel used the material itself to build up emotional or spiritual complexity….Valerie Hegarty, also a New Yorker, is less abstract but no less thought–provoking. Hegarty re-creates famous works of art and shows them literally destroyed. ‘Homer Was Swept Away’ shows a classical Greek painting with heavy water damage in a bent frame, as if it had been swept away in a flood, while ‘George Washington Eroded’ is a portrait of the first president, flaked, peeling and crumbling; it looks like the sort of thing archeologists from the year 3500 would extract from the ruins of what was the United States of America.” Read more.