new-york

Bill Jensen

Mary Boone Gallery | Uptown

With his relatively diminutive landscape abstractions, Bill Jensen protracts what might be described as a neo-easel tradition. His works recently found a home in a space originally designed for the pomp and circumstance proper to the ’80s redux of heroic-scale painting. This was an admittedly strange and awkward fit that even the gallery seemed to be self-conscious about. The space was subtly repainted in off-white, perhaps in order to afford a more compatible ambience, a “designer” atmosphere for intimate esthetic encounters undoubtedly meant to make the presence of Jensen’s intensely and insistently sober paintings seem less incongruous with this monumental architectural context.

This unavoidable mismatch worked to make the paintings seem all the more pathetic, helpless, if not insignificant. Simply put, they could not hold the space. It’s hard to imagine that Jensen produced these works

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