New York

Richard Kalina

Lennon, Weinberg, Inc.

It’s hard to get past pleasure with Richard Kalina’s latest exhibition, the fifty-two-year-old artist’s first in nearly three years. His most recent paintings, made up of layers of material, possess a vibrant and wacky kind of beauty, like Miró or Matisse by way of Jefferson Airplane. Starting with an unprimed linen base, Kalina uses black-and-white copies of the early nineteenth-century botanical prints of Pierre-Joseph Redouté as an underlayer for the paintings. But he also uses the Redouté prints in cutouts that float on top, of the painting, adding depth and symbolism. These cutouts are in the shapes of calligraphic curves and everyday household objects (scissors, a toaster, a stem glass, a pipe). Finally, he takes the flower heads from the prints—a panicle of lilacs, a single peony, a sunflower—and collages them over the works, as if to assert a sort of nineteenth-century

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