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22 Mar 2018

Nathlie Provosty: My Pupil is an Anvil

Nathalie Karg Gallery

Reviewed by William Corwin

With their murky, curvilinear forms snaking around just this side of perceptibility, Provosty's pairings evoke the foreboding Squid and Whale display at the Museum of Natural History more than Ad Reinhardt's hidden symbols. Provosty is embracing pure abstraction while contradictorily straddling illusionism, so it's impossible not to ponder AbEx tropes. Nevertheless the works play with thing-ness. In Painting (2017) the artist fakes a wear-and-tear blemish on the corner, leading us to double-check.

This is the most blatant of the artist's tricks. Mostly Provosty toys with edges to create depth where there can't conceptually be any - this is monochromatic abstraction! The dialogue here is about the presence of the painting itself, and nowhere is that more prominent than in the corner paintings Right (CEV) and Left (CEV) (both 2018), diptychs folded ninety degrees in the center. They are cases of reflection, but is it literal or Euclidean? Both, which is confusing, but she made us look.

Exhibition Nathlie Provosty: My Pupil is an Anvil link
Start date 28 Feb 2018
End date 15 Apr 2018
Presenter Nathalie Karg Gallery link
Venue 291 Grand Street, New York City, NY, USA map
Image Nathlie Provosty, Right (CEV), 2018, oil on linen, 96 x 53 inches, courtesy of Nathalie Karg Gallery
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