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29 Sep 2020

Amy Hill: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Front Room Gallery

Reviewed by Elizabeth Johnson

Amy Hill's oil paintings emphasize consistent, meticulous surface. They portray young, composite characters serenely posing with family, friends, and pets as they hang out, make art, play music, and marry. Supplanting details in Early American Folk with contemporary lifestyle clues, Hill's personae shyly inhabit smooth, perfect skin, stiff clothing, and harmonious environments: surfaces define and shield them. Their eyes suggest aloof listening, polite avoidance, and cautious consideration. As ciphers they house the viewer's projection by seeming alternately knowing and empty.

Two Girls on a Couch (2020) invites but blocks opinions about what the two girls might be experiencing. Are they listening to the same music? Their hands and iPods are comparatively less finished. Their eyes fix on different points. At once, they are secretive teens, twin Buddhas, and silent oracles.

Compared with previous paintings, Hill's portraits contain fewer details. Where her surfaces permit rifts in continuity, the facts are ranked, and nudge portraiture toward storytelling.

Exhibition Amy Hill: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow link
Start date 12 Sep 2020
End date 18 Oct 2020
Presenter Front Room Gallery link
Venue 48 Hester Street, New York City, NY, USA map
Image Amy Hill, Two Girls on a Couch, 2020, oil on canvas, 28 x 30 inches, courtesy of Front Room Gallery

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