new-york

Randy Wray

Kagan Martos

In previous exhibitions, Randy Wray’s pastiches of abstract motifs, lowbrow images, and homespun crafts (needlepoint, cake decorating, macaroni painting) seemed gratuitously chaotic, as if the artist couldn’t decide what to leave out. In his most recent show, he isolated specific images and techniques in paintings that are leaner and more elegant. Although the show included a number of large works, its focal point was an eye-popping, wall-sized grid composed of thirty-six 20-by-16-inch canvases.

Across the expanse of the grid (which becomes a kind of megapainting), certain motifs recur: vibrantly colored Op-art patterns with taped canvas edges; surrealistic relief elements built from modeling paste, paper pulp, and carved Styrofoam; small “pillows” reminiscent of Yayoi Kusama’s protuberances; images of ’30s horror-flick monsters; and paint-by-number scenes of water mills, steeples, and

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