Critics’ Picks

Hope Gangloff, Wigmore in Leucadia, 2017, acrylic and cut paper on canvas, 72 x 108".

Hope Gangloff, Wigmore in Leucadia, 2017, acrylic and cut paper on canvas, 72 x 108".

New York

Hope Gangloff

Susan Inglett Gallery
522 West 24 Street
March 18–April 22, 2017

Hope Gangloff’s latest solo show approaches painting with the medium’s history close at hand. The works sit comfortably within genre—portraiture, still life—but we instantly recognize her subjects as familiar and utterly contemporary. Consider the men that appear in works such as Ebon in Studio Light and Ryan Hart (all works 2017). Gangloff renders their scruffy beards, plain clothes, and casual hairstyles with a rare talent—not too unlike Alice Neel or Sylvia Sleigh—firmly planting them within the now and simultaneously well beyond. Her subjects, like Neel and Sleigh’s, are often friends, drawn from her own intimate, bohemian circle.

Gangloff’s artistic bloodline is rich, as her formal stylings are a confluence of painting’s best and brightest: Degas, Van Gogh, Cassatt, Matisse, Klimt, Schiele. Picasso’s Portrait of Igor Stravinsky, 1920, seems to function as a kind of template for her exquisite use of line. Her larger-than-life Wigmore in Leucadia and Last Fourth certainly share Picasso’s approach to modeling a body’s extremities, especially in the way she gracefully renders the limbs of the wanly macho guys of her milieu. This sensitivity, with just a trace of the dandy, suffuses the way she handles their faces, too.

One could call the artist’s palette neo-Fauvist: Deep ultramarines, pallid greens, and washed-out yellows commingle with fluorescent reds, oranges, and violets in expert, novel combinations. Gangloff paints the people and poses of everyday life—but with her generous vision and expert hands, they pass from the ordinary to the extraordinary.