new-york

Blake Rayne

Greene Naftali Gallery

Entering Blake Rayne’s recent show, you squeezed past a large Styrofoam “cube/crate” that partially blocked off the main exhibition space yet did not, in itself, command any particular notice. Each of the four walls displayed a single painting, mounted on an intermediate plywood support rather than directly on the wall. Less noticeably, the lower portion of the gallery’s imposing central column was painted with a high-gloss white acrylic, and a small diagram was painted onto the wall near the entrance to the office. The four paintings represented interior spaces that are empty or nearly empty, and each contained a wide pillar whose curve echoed that of the gallery’s central column. These pieces, executed with a sweet delicacy in blanched, pastel tones, as though with the slow, patient gestures of someone working to distract himself from melancholia, had a de Chirico–like “metaphysical”

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