new-york

Jane Irish

Sharpe Gallery

The decorative excesses of the Rococo set the stage for painter Jane Irish’s depictions of modern buildings. Cotton candy vegetation surrounds housing complexes, shopping centers, and office buildings. The frames of some of these paintings also include still-life elements, as in Penn Centre, 1988, or a painterly mist, as in New World Convenience, 1989. The buildings Irish depicts do actually exist, but they are in no way landmarks. They are, rather, bland descendants of the form-follows-function legacy, tombstones to utopia. Irish surrounds these structures with a marsh of foliage, not only to fantasize the banal but also to juxtapose different kinds of decadence in the disciplines of architecture and painting.

If Irish’s formula sounds a bit typical of post-Modern image/style juxtaposition and evokes the ever-present notion of cultural doom, her style is bizarre enough to invigorate her

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