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13 Apr 2020

Karin Batten: New Paintings

June Kelly Gallery

Reviewed by Dana Gordon

Karen Batten's paintings aspire only to be paintings, which is aspiration enough.

While the artist's long career has taken place in New York, she grew up in postwar Hamburg. She has clearly thought about modernist German painting. More evidently, her paintings have taken in Matisse, Miro, and Baziotes, with a notable impact of the strong, distinct colors of African and Caribbean palettes.

The play of definite shapes is reminiscent of middle-period Picasso, circa 1930 to 1950. These shapes gradually reveal interaction and overlapping of abstract layers that at first seem flat and juxtaposed.

Large, single-colored shapes often dominate the canvas initially. Then other visual events, sometimes very odd, become apparent. After the initial abstract impression, figures, places, landscape, and weird creatures emerge in an implicit but inexplicable narrative.

Batten potently elucidates real painting through her version of it, inclusive rather than reductionist.

Exhibition Karin Batten: New Paintings
Start date 06 Mar 2020
End date 14 Apr 2020
Presenter June Kelly Gallery link
Venue 166 Mercer Street, New York City, NY, USA map
Image Karen Batten, Playa Negra, 2020, mixed media and acrylic on canvas, 46 x 36 inches, courtesy of June Kelly Gallery

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