new-york

Peter Blume

Terry Dintenfass Gallery

Peter Blume’s style might be healthier for a little change. It’s hard to keep the word “corny” out of a discussion of some of his productions. Perhaps the most difficult thing for an artist to know is when going against the current is brave and useful and when it is only blind. Blume’s work has looked the same since 1940, a phlegmatic, flatfooted realism that manages to make the mural in a 1969 homage to the artists who restored flood-damaged Florence look like a WPA project. Do any artists wear smocks anymore? These do. It’s amazing that they left their berets at home. Recollection of the Flood is an impossibly tidy tableau, as unlikely as the spotless and immaculately pointed brushes sitting—where else—in a pitcher on the windowsill. Like their owner, they’d benefit from rigorous use. This is not a matter of technical incompetence or laziness. The very stiffness and laboriousness of

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