Santa Monica

Janis Provisor

Goldeen Gallery

Janis Provisor infuses an edgy, nervous quality into her new paintings that counterpoints their seductive beauty. Although these works might be read as lush, elegant abstractions, their imagery recalls thorny landscapes of thick, leafless brambles. With their mixture of oil paint and metal leaf—gold, silver, or copper—Provisor’s paintings bring to mind the memory of Byzantine murals or medieval manuscripts. In contrast to traditional painting’s illusionistic depth and perspective, her images play along the surface, like shimmering reflections on water that remain visually impenetrable. Interspersed with the metal leaf, passages of oil paint act as windows; through these, we peer into what seem to be entrances to space in the pictures.

In The Nick of Time, 1988, for example, a mixture of black paint and gold leaf looks as if it were brushed across the canvas, a misty curtain of color that

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the Summer 1988 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.