New York

Mary Grigoriadis

A.I.R. Gallery

Mary Grigoriadis’s paintings may smack of origins as diverse as Byzantine, Navajo, and folk Sicilian. “Poly-ethnic,” one might call her icons, so definite in form but scrambled in reference. Titles such as Giotto’s Oranges, Etruscan Amber, and Rain Dance insinuate meanings supported by color, or less surely by design, but not by both at once. If you’re cued by New York art ideologies, you may well find her pictures unsettling, and not only because they’re so rabidly votive in presence. Grigoriadis has seen fit to “sit” her symmetrical and frontal imagery on the unprimed, linen surface in high, disdainful relief. The really very thick oil paint is piled up and outlined at the edges, deliberately alienated from the ground. We’re not very accustomed to such traditionally associated art materials repelling each other. It’s almost as if ham and eggs had decided they weren’t on speaking terms.

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