new-york

Ken Kiff

Edward Thorp Gallery

The bulk-oriented art diet that we have lately grown reaccustomed to makes Ken Kiff’s pictures—physically small, pictorially private—practically indigestible. Not that they are unappealing, once noticed, but rather they seem almost invisible to current tastes. Kiff does wonders with acrylic paints on paper, conjuring up a metaphysical universe as copiously endowed with color as it is with evocative personae. The interrelatedness of the paintings—each is a kind of visionary landscape populated variously with anthropomorphic grotesques and architectural/natural landmarks—is both obvious and deliberate; since the early ’70s Kiff has numbered his works, reinforcing his assertion of them as a single, aggregate sequence. This show skipped around, including work of the past few years, but certain tonal combinations and visages appeared throughout. There was a consistency; if the melodies varied,

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