21 Sep 2020
Ophir Agassi: One to the Next
Reviewed by Franklin Einspruch
The problem of sincere modernist religious painting is cursed four times over, obliged as it is to take place in a time of widespread skepticism about sincerity, modernism, religiosity, and painting. Yet Ophir Agassi demonstrates that it can be done, perhaps more convincingly than any artist since Rouault. His exhibition at the Painting Center features riffs on Biblical and related imagery, alloyed with his own experiences of spiritual struggle and fatherhood, and hammered to rightness on the anvil of Matisse's French Window at Collioure.
One to the Next (2019), an intensely questioned tribute to Giotto's St. Francis before the Sultan, presents a challenging but authoritatively resolved composition of black and teal within which figures, blanked but nevertheless familiar, gesture hieratically. Though new in form it invokes all the old magic. The double alef in the lower left is the artist's signature, but also suggests "begin and begin again." One may, and it seems that one must.
|Exhibition||Ophir Agassi: One to the Next link|
|Start date||01 Sep 2020|
|End date||26 Sep 2020|
|Presenter||Painting Center link|
|Venue||547 West 27th Street, Suite 500, New York City, NY, USA map|
|Image||Ophir Agassi, One to the Next, 2019, acrylic on panel, 30 x 40 inches, courtesy of the artist|
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