Jennifer Coates: Lullabies for Difficult Times

Jennifer Coates, Meadow, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 72 x 60 inches (courtesy of Freight + Volume)
Jennifer Coates, Meadow, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 72 x 60 inches (courtesy of Freight + Volume)

Sharon Butler reviews Jennifer Coates,: Correspondences at Freight + Volume, New York, on view through April 15, 2018.

Butler writes: "At first glance, the paintings convey a sense of joy, in the same way that Paul Klee’s idiosyncratic visual language does. Yet in some, like Bull Spirit(2018) and Small Rabbit Spirit(2018), globs of slathered paint, milky transparencies, and textured underpainting from earlier iterations reveal the psychological depth and complexity of Coates’s endeavor. At the outset, she may have intended to present the carefree absorption she feels while in the country and captures in the small drawings, but to her credit she can’t seem to escape reality. Struggle and worry are evident in the barely hidden missteps and redactions. This is the paradox that makes Coates’s new work so vulnerable and so compelling."