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Richard Estes & John Dubrow

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Jerry Weiss reviews Richard Estes: Painting New York at the Museum of Arts and Design (through September 20) and John Dubrow: Transformations at Lori Bookstein Fine Art (through April 25).

Weiss writes that Estes' "cityscapes are straightforward in their depiction of surfaces—usually architectural but occasionally organic—and as free of social commentary as one could imagine. Nor do they go out of their way to glamorize the city. Estes’ paintings are devoted, above all, to the compositional busyness that New York’s surfaces offer. Often painted under a sunlight that is clean and flat, the shimmering exteriors of Estes’ New York appear to be immaculate replicas of their subjects… The surfaces of Dubrow’s canvases are, as the gallery describes them, almost geological in appearance. Paint has been troweled onto the canvases in patterns that appear carefully designed, yet which surely shifted in the process of painting and repainting. The crusted pigment has accreted to such a density that even the hard edges of architectural planes are softened at the meeting of seams. Unvarnished, the geometric patterns have a raw tactility that belies their high-key color—a child’s sunlit shirt in Playground appears to have been spontaneously painted wet-into-wet with a brush, and the brio of the passage is welcome."

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