March 31, 2008

Small work: Fab Fair four

The Armory Show, Pulse and Red Dot had plenty of painting to look at this year, but here are four artists whose work called out to me despite the modest, don't-look-at-me size.
Moyna Flannigan at Doggerfisher, Edinburgh. Last year in The Guardian Flannigan’s work was compared to 18th-century social satirists like Hogarth, but with a peculiar kitsch, distinctly 21st-century alienation. "The overall effect is alarming, a mix of sentimentality and nauseous unease.” A Yale grad, Flannigan has also had shows at Sara Meltzer in NYC.
Thornton Willis at Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NY. Willis, 72, recently had a retrospective at Sideshow in Brooklyn. “Over the years, I have presented various statements about my paintings,” Willis wrote in 2002. “For the most part, I have chosen to write about the act of painting itself, and what might constitute authentic inquiry into Abstract Space and Process. I try to create in my work a real space, quite simply a real object for people to look at. I would ask that people really look at the work and not read anything else into them.”
Sara Eichner, Sears-Peyton Gallery, New York, NY. Eichner’s obsession is meticulously combining architectural pattern, fragile color, and perspective. “The record shows a battle between the effort to create exact repetitions of pattern in perspectival shifts and my inevitable failure to achieve perfect marks and neatness.” Eichner writes on her website. “Couched within a rigorous grid distorted by perspective, my mistakes and variations in stroke are set off by the structure and humanize the end result.”
Angela Dufresne, Monya Rowe, New York, NY. Dufresne paints imaginary tree house structures with frenetic, vibrating line and brilliant color. Even with the overwhelming amount of work at the fair, Dufresne’s paint handling stopped me in my tracks.

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