Clarity Haynes interviews painter Joan Semmel on the occasion of the Semmel’s exhibition of new work at Alexander Gray Associates, New York, on view through October 15, 2016.
In the introduction Haynes writes: “For her new exhibition … Semmel has created 12 large paintings, many of which have two layers, each with a nude self-portrait. She works on one layer at a time, and if she likes the first layer enough she doesn’t add to it. In the resulting paintings, echoing, repeating, and overlapping figures crouch, lean, sway, sit, and generally confound the viewer, mixing figuration and abstraction in ways that make us question what a body is. The works are brushy, open, assured, and masterful, employing both naturalistic and abstract color.”