Each Friday, our writers review a few choice (New York) gallery openings from the night before.
Alex Kanevsky, “Models Painting Themselves”, courtesy of Hollis Taggart Galleries
by Elinor Case-Pethica, Staff writer
Alex Kanevsky is a Russian-born painter, currently living and working in Philadelphia. He is represented by Olivier Waltman Gallery in Paris, and by both Dolby Chadwick (San Francisco) and Hollis Taggart Galleries (New York).
Kanevsky’s paintings are a marriage of abstraction and photographic elements. His loose gestural paint handling and eloquent use of color departs in places from depiction into patches and swathes of paint—counterbalanced by high realism in areas of immediate focus such as faces, hands, and architectural details. The resulting images appear at first glance to be almost photographic, then quickly fall into entropy as soon as the eye wanders from its first landing point.
Alex Kanevsky, “J.W.I. in Her Room,” 48″ x 44″, oil on wood
Kanevsky focuses his practice around the figure. His patchy and painterly nudes in strange and psychologically unsettling environments often suggest dream-like narratives, but his true subject matter is color. His work is almost instructive to behold: subtleties and intricacies of color shift are made map-like in his paintings, emphasized and clarified. His work has the fluidity and ease of a Sargent watercolor, combined with the explosive painterly energy of a Jenny Saville.
Time is an element frequently discussed in Kanevsky’s paintings. He captures movement, as well as multiple points of view layered over one another. The physical building of his paintings happens much the same way, with a process of covering up old layers and allowing pieces of old ones to peek through. The finished products are ephemeral, and comment on the mutability of the human form and the instability of memory.
Alex Kanevsky, “Twins’ Bath”, 66″ x 66″, oil on linen
Kanevsky’s latest series of paintings, Uncatchable, employ a darker palette than his previous works. They are a departure from his characteristic bright pops of color, and emphasize the sensuous and the dramatic with simpler compositions. A selection of these new works will be on view at Hollis Taggart Galleries alongside the work of Robert Baribeau, Chloë Lamb, and Alexis Portilla from June 23rd through July 22nd.
More of Alex Kanevsky’s work can be found on his website.
Also in review: New York Academy of Art’s Tenth Annual Summer Exhibition at Flowers Gallery
The New York Academy of Art’s Tenth Annual Summer Exhibition opened this week at Flowers Gallery on West 20th street. The show combines the work of alumni and current students, covering a wide range of different media and styles. While quite eclectic, the group has several noteworthy pieces—Simón Ramírez-Restrepo’s untitled diptych stands out, as does Maya Brodsky’s exceptionally well-observed painting, Mirror. The exhibition will be at Flowers Gallery until July 16th.
Simón Ramírez-Restrepo, “Untitled”, 2015, oil on panel, 16″ x 32″