New York

John Willenbecher

Hamilton Gallery

John Willenbecher’s deep concern with archetypal formal and thematic issues results in some of the most exciting iconic art in New York this season. Works shown here from the “Laureate” series of recent mixed-media paintings illustrate his methods and intentions. The artist brings together two of the simple geometric shapes that have long interested him and which appear throughout his work from the 70’s, the arch and the circle. Each painting boasts a painted arch-shaped wooden frame encasing a Masonite support, painted to simulate marble. A circle in the form of a gold-leaf laurel wreath rests, collagelike, on the Masonite. The arches come from old window frames—Willenbecher has often combined found throwaways with new, constructed materials in his work—and the trompe l’oeil painted surfaces continue a relatively recent development harking back to a 1979–80 series of mixed-media constructions

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