New York

Cheryl Laemmle

Barbara Toll Fine Arts

The sympathetic specter of René Magritte floats around Cheryl Laemmle’s paintings. Illusionistic, handsomely painted, and “realistic” in ways reminiscent of the demure work of the Belgian fantasist, her work similarly is based on a set of images laden with associations. But unlike Magritte, Laemmle seems not to engage these symbols as parts of a larger rebus. There seems to be no narrative, no cumulative meaning to her paintings. They are enigmatic, but they are not puzzles.

That each is in itself a small drama Laemmle makes pointedly clear. Elaborately rendered frames are painted on the faces of the pictures, shallow stage space is employed throughout, and painted Masonite props—rocks, trees, birds, a cabin—hang at either side of, above, or below the rectangular paintings. A kindred repertory of flora and fauna inhabits the canvas centerpieces. The world depicted is a natural one, but one

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