Bruce Gagnier @ John Davis Gallery

Bruce Gagnier, Sitting Nick, 2012-2014, acrylic on cotton, 71 x 48 ½ inches (cou
Bruce Gagnier, Sitting Nick, 2012-2014, acrylic on cotton, 71 x 48 ½ inches (courtesy of John Davis Gallery)

John Goodrich reviews an exhibition of paintings by Bruce Gagnier at John Davis Gallery, Hudson, New York, on view through August 10, 2014.

Goodrich writes: "Built up from many feathered layers of paint — dates reveal that all have been reworked over a period of years, some more than a decade — the figures pulse with subtly atmospheric color and supple contours that course from head to toe... The motif of a lone figure in a dark, vertical format brings to mind certain paintings by Dürer and Lucas Cranach, and Gagnier’s fluency of modeling and atmosphere leave no doubt about his awareness of such precedents. Like his sculptures, however, these paintings overturn every tradition of the ideal. The poses are inelegant, sometimes cryptically awkward; limbs are distended or compressed; details made eccentric, so that feet may be swollen, and eyes and nipples turned into eerie, target-like concentric circles."