New York

David Hatchett

Michael Walls Gallery

David Hatchett chose to advertise his show with a photograph of himself superimposed upon his largest work, a remarkably poor blow-up of a Cézanne. One is aware that there is such a thing as suburban art, and this is it, a consistent reliance on timidity presented as cleverness. Some of the paintings are of wooded landscape, and these seem to grow out of another group of—slightly earlier—art school abstractions. Both are painted in a style that might be termed “translucent Orphism.” A third group, painted, if you like, more “boldly,” depict tents, those sacred reductions of architecture in which the healthy periodically rediscover nature etc., etc., in some National Park or other. I detest this kind of coy exploitation of a supposedly irreproachable simplicity, and do not think it capable of the irony or self-deprecation to which it pretends. It is, indeed, a sensibility that needs to convert Cézanne into a hoarding.

Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe