“Keith Mayerson: My American Dream”

Art Free
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

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The artist supersizes his quirky, sleeper-hit installation for last year’s Whitney Biennial, My American Dream, with 150 canvases hung floor-to-ceiling. They span a quarter century, making this a quasi-retrospective, though Keith Mayerson paints in so many styles that the exhibit could pass for a group show.

The subjects range from concentric, targetlike abstractions to images from family photos. Mayerson designates each wall as one “act” of an optimistic gay fantasia on national themes.

 The precise story, however, remains opaque. The hermetic, idiosyncratic nature of Mayerson’s subject matter and paint-handling suggest affinities with artists outside the mainstream, such as Louis Eilshemius or Bob Thompson. Even his most photorealistic paintings—a series of Manhattan vistas and hallucinatory Southern California landscapes under roiling skies—testify to the animistic intensity driving this show.

By: Joseph R. Wolin

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