Bo Bartlett


Bo Bartlett’s fastidious realist paintings feature heroic figures in lonely American landscapes that recall Thomas Eakins or Winslow Homer. This show marks a shift away from Bartlett’s cluttered depictions of political and technological disasters, toward simpler compositions that appear to draw on dream and memory as opposed to the nightly news. Yet while Bartlett’s new work is more introspective in tone, his taste for desolate land- and seascapes peopled with idealized figures engaged in mysterious activities remains constant.

Like those celebrated masters of the uncanny, René Magritte and Paul Delvaux, Bartlett employs pristine illusionism to portray ambiguous and often bizarre contemporary scenes, and it is this tension between form and content that contributes to the enigmatic quality of these paintings. In Hatchechubbee, 1990, a work in which four men participate in a masturbation

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