New York

Reverend William A. Blayney

Phyllis Kind Gallery

The charm of Reverend William A. Blayney’s recent show lay in the contrast between the size of the works (many measure only about a foot square and none approach the scale of much contemporary painting) and their quasi-mythical or religious subject matter—many-headed monsters, saintly knights on horseback, God seated on his throne in heaven. Words and thoughts appear in these pictures as halfdigested ideas or lingering, memorable phrases, the way they do in dreams. You can’t really decide, looking at them, if they’re the work of an exuberant and slightly deranged simpleton, or if Blayney is in fact knowing and coy, playing with image and language to create, as William Blake did, a revolutionary poetic vision from the fusion of text and figure.

In the end, what is remarkable about these works is that they combine a seemingly childlike technique with a sophisticated sensibility most readily

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