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12 Oct 2020

Mario Naves: Losing the Cow

Elizabeth Harris Gallery

Reviewed by Franklin Einspruch

While the mood of a body of work does not necessarily reflect the habitual mood of the artist - for better or worse - one hopes in Mario Naves's case that it does. His arrangements are serenely joyful, subtly colored and Apollonian in affect. Like Thelonius Monk, he has an aesthetic of understatement but still flourishes where the composition requires it.

Geometries formed with rulers, French curves, and circle templates (or methods that approximate them - maybe his hand is so untroubled that he can draw them without aid) come to order on rectangles and tondi in a quirky hanging at Elizabeth Harris. Naves's colors, like those in a good John MacLaughlin, can be quite ordinary in isolation but striking in combination, but unlike MacLaughlin, sometimes shift illusionistically between neighboring hues and reach out into the forbidden realms of pink and purple. Dominant Cultural Narrative (2020) looks like the imaginings of a rebellious city planner, as pathways of blue, carmine, and ocher zip around the planes of color following no purpose but their own.

Exhibition Mario Naves: Losing the Cow link
Start date 05 Sep 2020
End date 24 Oct 2020
Presenter Elizabeth Harris Gallery link
Venue 529 West 20th Street, New York City, NY, USA map
Image Mario Naves, Dominant Cultural Narrative, 2020, acrylic on canvas mounted on panel, 24 inches, courtesy of Elizabeth Harris Gallery

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