John Yau reviews the exhibition Kyle Staver: Recent Paintings continues at Tibor de Nagy, New York, on view through November 23, 2013.
Yau writes that in Staver's painting Daphne (2013), the figure's "feeling of being hemmed in by the painting’s physical parameters is contradicted by Daphne’s new identity as a laurel tree, a living and growing thing. She wants to break through the barriers and she eventually will. At the same time, her palpable physical presence underscores the empty night sky’s limitlessness beyond her. It seems to me that in 'Daphne,' Staver not only acknowledges that we are bounded beings that exist in an infinite universe, but accepts this unknowable state as both a challenge and an inspiration. In this regard, Staver’s 'Daphne' can be read as an examination of painting’s contested status, as surface and space."