I stumbled on to Alex Kanevsky's work in Chelsea a couple of years ago when I was looking for a photographer's show. I forget who the photographer was but Kanevsky became one of my favorite contemporary painters. He now has a new exhibit in Chelsea at the J. Cacciola Gallery, through June 13.
Monday, June 01, 2009
The paintings are mostly figurative with a few landscapes. His shear application of paint becomes the narrative. Seemingly skimmed onto the surface, the paint leaves many layers and impressions of the subjects, often transparent, unfinished, one layer breaking through the form while another redefines it, infinitesimally thin and fragile. The physical act of his painting, like layers of time and memory, come together to build the subject in a manner which is never quite complete or accurate.
Kanevsky maintains an extensive website that includes process shots of some paintings. These are particularly interesting as the paintings seem to come about as a series of shifting impressions rather than a linear progression.
By chance, I saw Synecdoche, New York last week. Early in the film you see an image of a woman embedded in wallpaper. I thought it looked like a Kanevsky painting -- quickly you realize they are Kanevsky paintings attributed to one of the lead charters. And, just as quickly, it becomes the only reason to keep watching the movie.