In the Wall Street Journal, Lance Esplund reports that Carl Plansky’s paintings of flower bouquets — some nearly seven feet tall — threaten to leap from the canvas and strangle the viewer like full-frontal assaults. “Looking at his exhibition of a dozen paintings of bouquets, a hard maple tree and a life-size, nude self-portrait, ‘Poseidon’ (all 2009), is to be immersed in a colorful garden, as well as a pit of writhing snakes. Born in 1951, Mr. Plansky, who claims ‘the more I see contemporary painting distrust feeling, the more feeling I put into my painting,’ has feeling enough to spare. And he spares none of it. For Mr. Plansky, who wrestles every form into being, a rose is a leaping flame or a serpent on Medusa’s head — but, a realist at heart, his rose is, ultimately, still a rose. I am not completely convinced that Mr. Plansky’s flowers — his glass vases of wildflowers, roses and lilies, his flurries of brushwork reminiscent of Joan Mitchell’s abstractions — need to be blown up to mural scale, dimensions that compete with their naturalism. The artist, obviously, is of differing opinion. And he may be right. Although his smaller, life-size bouquets may be more manageable and believable, they are also more conventional. The mammoth bouquets, beautifully strident, are more daring, convincing and engulfing as works of art.” Read more Lance Esplund’s painting reviews.“Carl Plansky: Oil Paintings,” Fishbach Gallery, New York, NY. Through April 25.
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