“Nature Morte” (2020)
Roberta Smith didn’t like Cecily Brown’s paintings in 2000: “…uninteresting from any distance and ultimately vacuous” and now she does: “The more I looked at the paintings, the more they calmed down, opened up and differentiated themselves from one another in color and composition.”A painter friend made a cynical remark about this turnaround that involved “monetary values,” “advertising dollars” and “future auctions.”
A quote from A Gentleman in Moscow:
“By their very nature, human beings [and paintings] are so capricious, so complex, so delightfully contradictory, that they deserve not only our consideration, but our reconsideration…”
I plan to reconsider too at some point in the future but right now, “Death and the Maid” is a series of disappointments. The paintings are so promising at first glance; the strokes are lush and varied; the paintings seem to offer an invitation to be seen slowly and pieced together in the mind of the viewer. But what actually happens is that once objects and scenes are recognized, there is no pleasure in looking at them anymore.