John Yau reviews the exhibition Ralph Humphrey at Gary Snyder Gallery, New York, on view through October 20, 2012.
"Each of Humphrey’s paradigmatic forms stirred up a series of connections for him to allude to. For Humphrey, a man who loved art, and who clearly steeped himself in art history, painting was a way to establish dialogues with both ordinary life and artists such as Bonnard, Mondrian, and the Nabis. In contrast to the artists who wanted to take everything out of their work, Humphrey wanted to put everything back into play. This includes his intelligence and his love for other artists and works of art. And this is why the institutional world — museums and ideologically driven art historians — has ignored him. After all, if you can’t be ironic, citational, or parodic, then you must believe in something other than the death of art and the individual."