New York

Susanne Kühn

Bill Maynes Gallery

Habituated to variously ironic, goofy, or studiously slipshod painting, I wasn’t sure what to make of Susanne Kühn’s suite of ten acrylic-on-canvas landscapes with their careful draftsmanship and restricted palette of black, white, and somber greens. At a glance her works resemble children’s-book versions of the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich—or what the Douanier Rousseau might have come up with after a visit to the Black Forest. And these first impressions are actually not far off. Kühn, a native of Leipzig, turns out to be for the most part about as unironic a nature painter as one is likely to encounter at the end of the millennium. The paintings themselves are rife with allusions to the Northern Romantic tradition, and yet they don’t seem to be overly preoccupied with their allusiveness. Instead they gesture earnestly, if loopily, toward the original Romantic connotations. In the

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