New York

Rafael Ferrer

Nancy Hoffman Gallery

Rafael Ferrer’s large drawings are done on navigational charts, so that outlines of islands and oceans of numbers show faintly through a dense layering of waxy red, green, blue, yellow and orange. One must squint to decipher the maps’ authentic geography, for Ferrer has embellished them to near oblivion. He feels no obligation to hold to definite points of view in these pictures: sailboats go by in perfect profile on water meant to be seen as the crow flies. Ferrer’s Caribbean is a fantastic, quiltlike patchwork where the island of Puerto Rico has ballooned in size, generating gaudy ripples that engulf everything for what must be hundreds of miles around. At least one of the charts shows a region in the South Pacific, but Ferrer has perversely placed Puerto Rico in the deep water somewhere west of Hawaii.

All of Ferrer’s work is concerned with locale, and all of it is as strident as these

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