Critics’ Picks

Mira Dancy, Herfume Perfume, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 69 x 67".

New York

Mira Dancy and Sarah Peters

Asya Geisberg Gallery
537B West 23rd Street
October 16–November 26

This two-person exhibition, featuring Mira Dancy’s riotously colorful acrylic paintings and Sarah Peters’s tactile, terracotta sculptures, pivots on the template of the female nude as a ground zero for aesthetic experimentation. Dancy’s paintings merge sprawling, busy compositions with comics-style color reminiscent of Gary Panter or Mickey Zachilli—all magenta, acid green, teal, and banana yellow shot through with silver curves. Take Dream of the Unicorn Tapestry (all works 2014), wherein a figure casually stretches out her arms while her legs lie loosely crossed at the bottom of the frame. The intense patterning across both figure and background flattens the subject into colors and textures resembling a fragmented screen resolution or corrupted pixels. With the body scrubbed of any particular identifying details, the impression is of a very cyberpunk version of Gaugin’s lady land. Another large painting, Herfume Perfume, is triangular with a swarm of brushy forms that sometimes coalesce into something recognizable and sometimes don’t, building a dynamic momentum to its topmost point stamped with a blunt, purple font stating its title. Just like the phrasing, her paintings treat gestures as play.

Peters’s small, tan figurines are a quiet complement to Dancy’s exuberances. Perched on white plinths, their unglazed clay surfaces wear kneaded impressions and have slight, delicate features that look lovingly inscribed, as if with a blunt fingernail. Figurine with Looping Arms, true to its word, disregards armature in favor of soft, wormy curves with tiny, rough notches for nostrils and eyes recalling a ghoulish, anime-type rendering. In all these works, one notes that the female form is less baggage to be dealt with than a cipher to be tossed around in a fast and loose game of suggestion and rehearsal.