new-york

Carl Apfelschnitt

Olsen Gallery

There are inevitably periods in history when glamour becomes a kind of weapon of oppression, when the materialization of luxe becomes politically questionable. And there is, in Carl Apfelschnitt’s paintings, such a will to glamour and such an urge for luxe that I found them giving me the same sinking feeling I had when I saw Nancy Reagan smiling out at me from the cover of Interview wearing her “Christmas Red Adolfo.” In its monumental preciousness, in its refusal to connect with the realities of the world in which it exists, in its nabobery lifted to unnecessary heights of refinement, the work signifies a grandiose folly.

Apfelschnitt’s palette is dominated by gold, silver, and turquoise. With few exceptions, gold rules, and so lavish is its application that it has the effect of aggressively turning the paintings into speculative economic commodities. The silver and turquoise do nothing

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