Cambridge

Todd McKie

Barbara Singer Fine Art

In flatly rendered configurations of humanoids, animal creatures, plant life, and pottery positioned atop basically monochromatic grounds, the thirteen small-scale, brightly colored canvases in Todd McKie’s recent show, all but one painted in synthetic vinyl, merge liberal borrowings from the history of art with apparently simple quasi-abstract biomorphic forms. The resulting works, highly self-contained paintings that suggest influences from pre-Columbian vases to Matisse, Dubuffet, and Miró, feature anthropomorphic characters who act out the myriad trials and triumphs of McKie’s life.

A Cambridge-based artist, McKie is also a writer, and his titles are humorous equivalents to the quirky beings that populate his canvases. Works like So Many Colors, So Little Time, 1999 (a play on an ’80s disco song), and Post-Chromatic Stress Syndrome, 1999, chronicle his experience of rushing to complete

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