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Featuring paintings from the early 2000s alongside recent ones, this exhibition finds Ann Craven continuing her looping reengagement with prior work. Concerned with the routines of observation, appropriation and reproduction, Craven makes images that can seem maddeningly dashed off, though they embody a highly focused approach to medium and method. The most visually striking examples here—two large canvases of yellow canaries and two triptychs of gray parrots—are also the oldest; based on printed originals, their real subject isn’t ornithology but mimesis.
Accompanying the bird paintings are nonobjective compositions, including a long row of canvases patterned with diagonal stripes of muddy color. They’re actually exercises in waste-not, want-not, since they were made with leftover pigment from the figurative series. Another set of smaller panels repeats the strategy, reproducing the painter’s splattered and scrubbed palette as faux-gestural abstractions. Finally, a series of images of the moon, seen at various dates, times and places, dovetails with the bird paintings’ kitschy feel, adding another malleable element to this sly artist’s range.