Contributed by Sharon Butler / Brooklyn artist Maya Brym’s vivid new paintings, on view at Frosch & Portmann through February 24, invigorate domestic life with a sense of lightness and clarity. Geometric shapes defined by stencils and masks are painted in bright colors with wide, transparent brushstrokes. The shapes conjure water bottles, bowls, fruit, potted plants, and small figurines. As the elements overlap, a basic illusion of space is created. Other complexifiers (ht to Jeff Bezos for coining this versatile term) like perspective and detailed rendering are largely gone from Brym’s lean menu of painting tricks. Thanks to her aggressive use of color and quirky translation of objects to canvas, however, the paintings are not ascetic but exceedingly magnanimous.
The tabletop tableaux that Brym depicts, painted larger than life, feature object shapes that hover in the foreground, while the landscape elements in the rear appear on the horizon. As the distance compresses in two dimensions, the viewer encounters a shift in scale. Mountains and trees are now akin to still-life elements, and the objects become monumental. Brym’s lively paintings are full of joy and, corny though it sounds, they make me feel as though spring and the new beginnings it brings are right around the corner.
“Maya Brym: Threshold,” Frosch & Portmann, LES, New York, NY. Through February 24, 2019.