Geoff Hands reviews Helene Appel: Washing up at P420, Bologna, on view through November 12, 2016.
Hands writes: "[Appel] may have painted the images from life, eidetic memory or from reproductions (e.g. a photographic image). We do not know (without asking her) and have the option of constructing our own mini-histories for the making and becoming of the images. Surprisingly, this process magically transforms generally unremarkable content and consequently produces a reverse transubstantiation, where the substance of the body of materials; liquid or apparently solid, natural or artificial, reveals a transformation from painterly materiality to a subtle staging for visual ingestion that is simply, but gloriously, perceptual. And so, ideally, the paintings force the viewer to look afresh..."