New York

Llyn Foulkes

Willard Gallery

It seems that California painter Llyn Folks planned his show here to coincide with the Max Ernst retrospective. Not only are the Surrealist’s decalcomania paintings and figure in a landscape collages Foulkes’s main models, but the antique photographs and wooden frames he uses in his paintings evoke the ’20s when Ernst made his works. Foulkes has quite successfully flattened his oeuvre through this insistent nostalgia. If his paintings wish they’d been there and then, it’s hard for them to be here and now. I guess the show’s a kind of hommage à but this isn’t Paris.

In his portraits, Foulkes paints the background over parts of the photographic image so that people’s skulls take on odd shapes. This overpainting brings both heads and landscape forms closer to a primary biomorphic shape that’s not as specific as a finger or a penis. Maybe it’s a tonsil. Foulkes’s faces are all covered by another

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