Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cecily Brown/Gagosian Gallery, Spring 2005

Cecily may have come riding through the door to fame and fashion with her brash titillating use of copulating bunnies and sexual posture in the same way that John Currin breached the walls of the Chelsea galleries and popped open the eyes of the cognoscenti with his buxom fooleries aka Tom H. Benton but who would’a thought a girl’s hot sex could get so boring, so old, so fast…not to worry…Cecily’s now through the door and settled in and maybe a little bored with the frenzy, the tooling tempest in a four square canvas. Looks like she’s found something to sing about, think about or wrestle with, her own personal ‘laocoon’. Showing her true colors she plays to the paint and plies her trade with her hard won, strong academic training from the Slade where Cezanne’s MO still reigns…and rightly so…one of the few training grounds for painters that want to move the paint around here in the 21st century. She has corralled her energies to this complex, less facile intention rather than just grabbing attention. Working furiously for the last several years she has integrated all elements in this new work to achieve an enervating balance of paint, narrative, brushstroke scale, and color to present a visual that is as mesmerizing as a walk in the woods – radiance, in sync with nature’s light streaming, visual bounty. This new work is elegant improvisation, a jazz like series of tableaux. From Cezanne, the mentor projects….’The real and prodigious study to be ventured is that of the diversity of nature’s picture’ or capturing nature’s changes while preserving it’s permanence as lifted from David Sylvester’s essay on Cezanne. And while we may want her to go hog wild and get us closer to the energy, and to create an expressionism with all the same power and movement of Reuben’s ‘Massacre of the Innocents’…well, give her time…give her time…She’s calmed but way far from bored or stuck…you can still see her heart fluttering, her mind moving and the bells ringing…

Stephanie Bell Behnke

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