Goings On About Town

The New Yorker , October 2, 2006

 

Alexi Worth

Witty, well-made paintings that flout the direct approach. “Lenscap” foregrounds—literally, forcefully, funnily—what would be an error in a photograph, an accidental exposure as the lens cap is being drawn away from the camera. The Titianesque foliage of an oak tree is visible beyond the stumpy bits of fingers, but we'll never know for sure what the big black circle of painted plastic eclipses. A pair of paintings depict a woman lost in thought and distracted by a magazine; in each, her face is largely obscured by a man's shadow. Bald men tip their heads onto women's bare shoulders, forming almost indecipherable flesh-tone compositions. We're blocked from seeing or interpreting at every turn, but the effect is engaging rather than frustrating. Worth's smoothly painted warped shapes—bulbous foreheads, stretched-out torsos—add a cartoonish, Currin-ish note of further jokiness. Through October 7.