Jane Culp: Suspect Terrain

Jane Culp, Cathedral Rocks, Badlands, 2013, oil on board,  24 x 20 inches (court
Jane Culp, Cathedral Rocks, Badlands, 2013, oil on board, 24 x 20 inches (courtesy of John Davis Gallery)

John Goodrich reviews the exhibition Jane Culp: Suspect Terrain at John Davis Gallery, Hudson, New York, on view through August 10, 2014.

Goodrich writes: "Picturesque scenes can be the hardest to paint, but Culp’s canvases catch the spectacle of these desert scenes without a trace of sentimentality. Working brusquely, with strokes that vary from thickly brushy to thin veils, she sizes up her subjects with business-like vigor, conveying their character through pictorial vigor rather than technical feats... These paintings have something of the quality of devotional works, as if the artist sought to subsume herself in the conjuring of the transcendent, using purely traditional means. (Imagine, in the twenty-first century: composing in paint!) This may be why they convey such a strong sense of the moment — a moment belonging to both the artist and nature, as if their exertions were simultaneous."