John Yau reviews Eleanor Ray: Paintings at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York, on view through December 24, 2015.
Yau writes: "[Ray's] cropping also reminds us that every view is partial. We cannot step back and see everything; we can only get closer. Within these demarcated areas, Ray uses a lightly textured skin of paint to delicately register tonal changes, compelling us to look even closer, to see that the painting is both an architectonic space and physical paint. She wants us to recognize the dialogue that paint can establish between surface and space, which to some people means that she is a conservative artist. That designation ignores what is radical and resistant about Ray’s work. There is something moody and quietly haunted about her paintings, a sense that everything you see is visited alone, imbuing the views with an awareness of mortality, a depth of feeling that is all too rare in much of today’s art."