New York

Mark Wethli


For all their attention to rendering the truth of objective appearance in meticulous detail, Mark Wethli’s paintings of interiors treat form in a highly abstract manner. Working with rooms he encountered in houses on the campus of Bowdoin College, as well as Belaggio, Italy, he demonstrates how the physical dimensions of space can be manipulated to recreate the more intangible spirit, or feeling, of place.

Though the rooms represented in paintings like Under A Northern Sky, 1992, Blue Angel, 1992, Simple Gifts, 1992, and Como, 1991, are always unoccupied, they are suffused with human presence. Objects of daily use; like the doors and the chair so prominent in Under A Northern Sky, figure their absent owners. The more specific Wethli is about the details—the edges of a chair or the shape of a doorknob—the stronger the curiosity aroused about the inhabitants of these empty rooms. You begin

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