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Eric Wolf, Paintings

Jeff Bailey Gallery
625 West 27th Street, 212-989-0156
October 11 - November 11, 2006
Reception: Thursday, October 12, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

In a palette of black and white, Wolf’s paintings define a turbulent space that is at once deep and exceedingly narrow. Undulating forms jostle and coalesce into rhythmic and elastic forms, evoking the landscapes upon which they are based.

Wolf’s paintings, based on direct observation, transform utterly anonymous scenes into highly specific tableaus. Within the constraints of black and white, the act of lending form to boundless space places his work in an unanticipated lineage, between the immediacy of Franz Kline and the mediation of Gerhard Richter.

In the painting Skyocean, positive and negative figures establish a field of relationships across the surface in contradiction with the spatial depth articulated by the apparent landscape. Clouds above a roiling ocean give definition to an overwhelming, monumental scope of space. The boulders in the foreground, being undecidedly enormous or extremely up close, combined with sky, water and mark making produce a space of continuous oscillation.

On the one hand, Wolf’s paintings are as indebted to modern abstraction as they are to the history of pictorial landscape painting. On the other hand, they provide a re-synthesis that implies an autonomous artistic practice. His work thus provides the opportunity for a rare, critical reflection on the state of contemporary painting.
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