New York

Thomas Lawson

Various locations

As a critic for this magazine, Thomas Lawson displays little patience with pretentious or sentimental imagery that rides behind the shield of the “new.” It is something of a relief to see that his paintings are the products of the same tenacious mind; his imagery alone—battered women, murdered men, brutalized children—safeguards against any accusations that the artist suffers from even a fleeting moment of romantic weakness. It is hard to walk away from his work without recalling not just the specific paintings, but the specific kinds of everyday atrocities to which they so grimly attest.

The major part of each canvas is covered with thick strokes of dark black or green ground, which presses against or around a group of tiny figures or an isolated figure. With the exception of one painting in the show, the depicted victims are small enough to allow Lawson to leave them faceless, though we

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