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25 Apr 2018

Chuck Webster: Pilgrims: Drawings 2017-2018

Steven Zevitas Gallery

Reviewed by Franklin Einspruch

The naivete in Chuck Webster's work is misleading. What looks like pan watercolors and marker doodles on sheets of bond are shellac-based inks on vintage paper. The noodly line work comes from the hand of a National Academy Affiliated Fellow who went from a residency at the MacDowell Colony to another at the American Academy in Rome. Hilton Kramer's remark about Philip Guston as a mandarin pretending to be a stumblebum comes to mind.

That said, Guston was on to something and so is Webster. Seussian landscapes featuring bizarre hill towns and citadels have newly emerged in his images. Mallets walk about them, their shafts bending and slanting to regard the ground, the sky, and each other.

These are studied attempts to deal with the figure-in-a-landscape aspect of historical Italian painting, even though the palette barely deviates from the color wheel. They would succeed better as oils, and larger. But their necessary component, serious unseriousness, is in place.

Exhibition Chuck Webster: Pilgrims: Drawings 2017-2018 link
Start date 04 Apr 2018
End date 26 May 2018
Presenter Steven Zevitas Gallery link
Venue 450 Harrison Ave. #47, Boston, MA, USA map
Image Chuck Webster, Redoubt I, 2017, mixed media on paper, 19 3/4 x 25 1/4 inches, courtesy of Steven Zevitas Gallery

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