New York

Roy De Forest

Allan Frumkin Gallery

It was good to see Joan Brown in the Whitney Biennial, but I wish someone like Roy De Forest could have been there too. By herself, Brown was funky and provincial. With another artist like De Forest, we might have started to understand the strength of figurative painting in this country. It would have demonstrated how different this kind of painting can be even when it shares a common sensibility. Both De Forest and Brown speak to a highly knowledgeable, connoisseur audience which is for the most part unconcerned with the New York scene. Both work with overt subject matter, narrative, and expressionist color. Neither has any “followers.” Independent and stubborn, their work appears to New York provincials as anachronistic and/or funky. But they do not submit to the confines of labels. De Forest’s spiritual colleagues—Brown, Thiebaud, Arneson, Wiley—all avoid the pitfalls of New York realist

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