chicago

David Kroll

Betsy Rosenfield Gallery

David Kroll’s self-conscious immersions into a specific art-historical genre are so fully conversant with the milieu of his sources as to constitute a kind of esthetic necrophilia. His recent paintings depict a wistful neo-Romantic world where nature and humankind coexist in uneasy and poignant relation, where balance and order are tenuous. Kroll employs a certain formula—in the background he always depicts wispy and puffy trees in a manner reminiscent of Gainsborough. These trees and the skies around them are rendered in misty sepia hues of brown and caramel that give these works the appearance of age or of having been immersed in varnish. Across a very shallow plane in the foreground, Kroll typically arrays vases, fruits, birds, vegetation, insects, bowls, eggs, nests, frogs, snakes, etc., largely in the tradition of tabletop still life. All is staged for maximum theatrical effect and

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