Leah James

  • View of “Vanessa Maltese: Birds Flew Down to Peck at the Painted Grapes,” 2016.
    picks July 17, 2016

    Vanessa Maltese

    Vanessa Maltese has chosen the tondo, a circular panel common during the Renaissance, as the shape for her latest suite of four paintings. Circles are important. Recall the mandala, crafted to represent the universe. Nature makes things round: fruits, planets, and stars. Maltese too is making things round. In Aware of Surroundings (all works 2016), for instance, circles repeat abundantly: Small tondi pepper the panel and frame, squishy rings of lavender rattle in the background, and a cartoon hole recedes to what feels like infinite circular blackness.

    With only four paintings and a pair of shoes,