Nicholas Chittenden Morgan

  • Greg Parma Smith, Last Judgment (Selfless, Deathless, No World), 2015–16, oil, gesso, metallic leaf on canvas, 7' x 25' x 5 1/2”.
    picks March 25, 2016

    Greg Parma Smith

    The word apocalypse means revelation: a kind of unveiling to expose some higher power’s purpose (through mass destruction, of course). In Greg Parma Smith’s epically scaled six-panel painting titled Last Judgment (Selfless, Deathless, No World), 2015–16, the end of days is visualized through layers of canvas that literally peel off the picture plane, revealing a number of stylistically disjunctive images beneath. In the center is a deceptively kitschy, postcard-perfect sunset. Split in half across two panels, this dark star suggests that it increasingly takes away more than it gives—a vital

  • Tom Burr, Circa ’77, 1995, wood, soil, trees, found objects, 7' x 13' 1“ x 13' 1”.
    picks November 06, 2015

    Tom Burr

    Tom Burr’s new sculptures inject autobiography and eroticism into their rigid, industrial supports. Every work is composed of one or two metallic planes. They are lined up serially along the walls of the gallery, each a slight variation on the one previous. These gray forms are called “grips,” 2015, evoking bodily touch. Some are made reflective by the addition of glass sheets or polished slabs visibly bolted to the steel ground. Hovering a foot above the floor on a specially built shelf, this subtle architectural intervention alters the viewing experience just enough to call attention to the

  • Matthew Brannon, First Base, 2015, paint, letterpress, and serigraph on paper, 24 x 18''.
    picks September 18, 2015

    Matthew Brannon

    In Matthew Brannon’s latest output, candy-colored arrangements of objects and text—a wedding cake, a pack of Lucky Strikes, a bottle of vanilla extract—address the Vietnam War with a decorative aestheticism. This strategy may feel absurd, but Brannon deliberately avoids picturing scenes of violence, instead focusing on commodities, from a shuttlecock to a bottle of Heinz ketchup. These assemblages suppress violence almost to the point of invisibility, evoking a wartime America proceeding as if in an unaltered peacetime. In First Base (all works 2015), what initially seems a straightforward still