new-york

Eric Wolf

Jessica Fredericks Gallery

Applying the reductive rigor of black-and-white abstraction to scenes from nature, mostly in upstate New York, Eric Wolf’s open-air landscape paintings look more like mazes or optical illusions in some kind of puzzle or pages from a pristine coloring book than anything from the Hudson River School. Moreover, the views offered in the seven paintings in this show weren’t picturesque, majestic, or sublime, but mysterious in a rather banal way. The roiling masses in Cloud Painting and Cloud Painting II (all works 1997) are replete with the kind of weird partial images—ears, shoulders, scrunched faces—that the imaginative skygazer finds looming in tufts of cumulus. Molten Sky and Cornered Tree Tops feature similar atmospheric turbulence above views of woods in black outlined in white (or maybe white outlined in black), while Pine is an allover, undulating riot of forest forms.

Wolf may be

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