John Yau reviews the exhibition Josephine Halvorson: Facings at Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York, on view through March 1, 2014.
Yau writes: "It is as if Halvorson has equated painting with forensic pathology, which is how she circumvents any potential for nostalgia. This is not to say that she is clinical in her examination of surfaces, because she is not. Nor is she trying to be morbid. Rather, there is a restrained but painterly exactitude to her transcriptions of blank but disfigured surfaces... Halvorson makes those unsung songs visible and palpable. She does so by exploring the world at hand – that which we see but seldom look at with any sense of curiosity. That’s the forensic pathologist side of her. Rather than being elegiac or grim, her paintings are careful and tender accountings of discovery."