Ida Applebroog

Ronald Feldman Gallery

Over the last few years, Ida Applebroog has been moving away from her signature non-narrative comic-strip works showing featureless figures to larger, more painterly panels and more complex compositions. The large paintings shown here reflect this shift: certain scenes are reminiscent of her early work, but often, as in Lithium Square, 1988, figures emerge from tight frames and enter the larger panels, as though the artist were eager to blur the boundaries of the two phases.

Applebroog’s small and large figures include men, women, kids, and animals, often engaged in actions so ordinary—sipping coffee, stretching, stooping to pick up a coin—as to seem unworthy of attention. Others are shown doing something highly dramatic: a female sniper fires from a window, an attack dog breaks loose from its chain. Most figures appear alone, and the pairs often look antagonistic; in both cases, one senses

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