New York

Will Mentor

Wolff Gallery

Will Mentor’s “The Eight Spheres of Yoga,” 1985, consists of seven paintings, all distinctly quotational in mode. At the center of each is a classically Surrealist bonelike shape with a central hole allowing a view of various things in an illusionistic space beyond. Other shapes—like partly furled cloths, or folded papers—spread out from these centers with intricate, sometimes paradoxical overlaps. Within these shapes one catches glimpses of further illusionistic spaces, as in the work of René Magritte, and somewhat like the chroma-key effect in video. Most commonly, the background revealed through the shapes is a Magrittean sky, though in some a garden scene or an ocean peeks through, and in others a textured gray zone forms a kind of metaphysical ground. The paintings are surrounded by ornate gilt frames suggesting an earlier age.

Why is quotational painting the dominant mode in Lower

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