New York

Farrell Brickhouse

Pamela Auchincloss Gallery

Farrell Brickhouse is clearly unafraid to make a mess. In a statement about one of his paintings a few years ago, he spoke of a “need to dive into the muck to come up with my jewel of truth.” Somewhere along the line, Brickhouse’s brand of gritty yet lyrical gestural painting went out of fashion, probably because too many of its practitioners seemed to have convinced themselves that pushing paint around was enough. Brick-house clearly knows better. His impasto shows signs of both unaffected self-indulgence and genuine struggle, but usually he stops short of letting either one become an end in itself.

One of the more interesting aspects of these paintings is that Brickhouse paints on wood panels that are not quite rectangular. Angles are a bit askew, edges curve, but the works don’t read as “shaped paintings.” So right from the beginning, Brickhouse alludes to the strictures of convention,

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