New York

John Torreano

Hamilton Gallery

Torreano’s abstract jewel works glittered like kitsch skies full of stars; now he has given shape to those skies by delineating constellations and galaxies on his canvases, which have titles like Orion and Helix Nebula. Those new paintings that do not refer to the galaxies refer in another way to the heavens: wooden cruciforms, studded with jewels and glass, bear such titles as Irish Cross and Diamontes en la Cruz. This incorporation of “imagery” may seem like a grand departure, but it is really more a camp meditation on the metaphorical possibilities of the jewel. What, after all, could be more trite an association than that of jewels with the stars in the sky? In Exploding Galaxy, clear, bright stones converge against a dark, dotted mass. Even without the title, one would have little trouble identifying the astronomical reference. And in Veil Nebula, a screen of glass jewels shimmers

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