• Chester Arnold

    William Sawyer Gallery

    The legacy of the vogue for “bad” painting has been a lot of bad paintings. But when and if the art world rewards skillful image-making again, Bay Area painter Chester Arnold will be in a strong position. Arnold has evolved his own brand of dreamy, intermittently nightmarish realism. It is governed by a rich, flickering touch that is equally conversant with the American reverie of Charles Burchfield, the landscape space of early Dutch painting, and the cryptic, in-yourface narrative of the late Philip Guston. Several of the big pictures in Arnold’s latest show have worm’s-eye vantage points,

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  • Henry Wessel

    Fraenkel Gallery

    Everything in a photograph by Henry Wessel sits tonally clear and smooth across the sheet so that whatever seems to be the main subject––a sunbather, a suburban house or solitary tree––stands as just the pretext for seeing all else that is simply, and absurdly, there. By dint of being centered in the frame, the subject, like the unitary camera eye, ushers in a set of transforming binocular aftershocks. Wessel’s black and white images are head-on but his comic conceptions reveal themselves obliquely; he lets both his and our attention wander enough to discover the multiplicity in any range of

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