John Yau reviews Anne Harvey: Private Life at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York, on view through June 11, 2017.
Yau writes: "Harvey’s observational paintings were described by John Ashbery, in 1966, as 'the probing anguish of an almost Jamesian dissecting eye.' Ashbery went on to state: “A curious anxiety, tempered by the exhilaration of her novel optics is the result.' ... The subjects include still–lifes, landscapes, and portraits. The 'novel optics' Ashbery speaks of is key to every work, whatever the medium. In [Harvey's] hands, observational painting attained a level of scrutiny and intensity we associate with hallucination... Matter stays matter in her work, while simultaneously becoming something strange."