New York

Jillian Denby

A.M. Sachs Gallery

Because Neel focuses so sharply on human nature as content, I find it difficult to criticize her use of figuration. That photography is probably a more effective means of social documentation seems a moot point. The problems involved in the use of the human figure in contemporary painting are more obvious in Jillian Denby’s work. Denby stages her naked models in calculated abstract compositions which hint at a modern-day revival of Neoclassicism. This reference to Neoclassicism is not made in jest, for the stoical clarity of design is reminiscent of David, while the decidedly linear contours of the figures suggest Ingres. Denby positions her models parallel to the picture plane. To further deny any recessional space, she closes off the background with a strongly colored drape which pushes the eye to the surface. Yet, despite this almost mimetic fulfillment of Wölfflin’s dictums, the use

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