new-york

Jane Dickson

Whitney Museum of American Art

Jane Dickson’s recent exhibition featured eight tall, narrow oilstick drawings on canvas and linen, and three oil and Roll-A-Tex paintings, showing Times Square side streets, the views and surroundings from the artist’s former office-turned-studio on West 43rd Street. The subjects are men eyeing women, men eyeing men, policemen stopping suspects, and other vignettes, seen in front of liquor stores and sex emporiums on empty late-night streets. With their high vantage points and steep foreshortening, they seem to have been painted from Dickson’s windows. A strip joint, Paradise Alley, lent its name to the exhibition. There was no irony in this.

In a 1994 interview Dickson ponders hope and transcendence and calls strippers “saints” and “martyrs.” Writers, too, use eschatological terms to discuss her art, including “heaven,” “angels,” and “eternity.” The vocabulary would be the same, I think,

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