Franklin Evans: Model as Mayhem

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Matthew Farina reviews the recent exhibition Franklin Evans: paintingassupermodel at Ameringer McEnery Yohe, New York.

Farina writes that the show "succeeds as a personal rumination on Yve Alain Bois’s 1990 book Painting as Model … Evans’s approach to Bois is a salient aspect of 'paintingassupermodel' — it scrutinizes a lineage that is relevant to Evans’s practice — but that focus is not all the show has to offer. In fact, the subtext of Bois’s book dissipates the more one’s eyes follow detour after detour through the skewed grids of Evans’s canvases. The implicit formalist grid in irwinorange (2014) looks as organized as an aerial city map from afar and more like a Gee’s Bend quilt upon closer inspection. The artist’s keen sense of humor can be felt in his pliant, idiosyncratic painting vocabulary and in his witty titles. The word model takes on multiple meanings; Internet printouts of male and female models, gleaned from the worlds of fashion or soft-core erotica are intermittently spaced around the gallery to form an underlayer of camp… Models are also presented in the form of statistical charts, derivatives and spreadsheets that trace (rather unromantically) Evans’s own path through the New York City art world… Through these clues, an artist’s career becomes another model to be examined, that of artist as aspiring super-artist."

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