June 5, 2010

Douglas Florian's own kind of big



 Images are courtesy Douglas Florian's website.

In the NY Times, Roberta Smith reports that Douglas Florian, in an engrossing show at BravinLee that closes today, conveys an imposing compression of time and attention in 33 new small scale pieces.  "Mr. Florian, who always works on paper bags, has shown in art galleries since 1985, presenting work that is generally more abstract if no less playful than his illustrations. Here his excellent eye for color shines, and an organic multiculturalism is given full expression. Tantra, Elizabeth Murray, maps, free-range calligraphy, Marimekko handmade wrapping paper and Gerhard Richter all come to mind in this show of 33 small paintings, most done this year.

"You may initially want to dismiss Mr. Florian’s gallery works as tasty bonbons, sweet and light and insufficiently nutritious, or as part of a genre of skillful drawing-painting that has been around since the 1980s. (Like Mr. Florian, by the way.) But no matter how relaxed and loopy the main motifs may appear, they are intensely worked — painted, rubbed, drawn on, scraped, with added bits of collage and painted paper. Some are so distressed they appear brittle and stiff, as if painted on ultra-thin sheets of metal. Others might almost have been left out in the rain or used as flooring. In any event, many of these works convey an imposing compression of time and attention without ever getting precious or obsessive about it. They engross, with plenty of nutrients and their own kind of big."

"Douglas Florian: Letting in the Light," BravinLee, New York, NY. Through June 5, 2010.

In Gallery 2, don't miss "It takes Time to Turn a Space Around," new work by Amy Wilson.

Amy Wilson, untitled, detail from the series (It takes time to turn a space around), 2010, watercolor and pencil on paper, 10 x 40¼"

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