At first, Josephine Halvorson’s paintings of plywood forms used for casting concrete might appear dull. But on closer inspection, they’re enlivened by the artist’s paint handling, and that’s true for the rest of her canvases, featuring exterior views of walls, doors and shuttered windows.
Roughened surfaces in gray or brown recall by turns Minimalist sculpture and stock photos of rural Americana. However, it’s the little flourishes—a fleck of orange here, a stroke of lilac there—that provide the visual payoff.
In one painting, an expanse of concrete invites comparison to the gallery’s floor. In another, a carefully rendered drip of muck transcribes a chance mark into permanence.
A renovation of the artist’s Massachusetts property inspired this exhibition, and Halvorson refers to it in order to contrast dilapidation with renewal, tradition with modernity, without arguing for either. A pairing of lit and unlit fireplaces evokes the cyclical nature of change, but her focus on architectural details deflects narrative readings. What remains is the continuing relevance and pleasures of painting.—Merrily Kerr