New York

Robert Jessup

Joseph Rickards Gallery

Robert Jessup creates bizarrely torqued grown-up fables that unite the everyday and the strange. With their thick, icing-like paint and candy-inspired palette, his canvases are both seductive and slightly off-putting. The symbolism of any indi-vidual element is refracted by the other associations he sets up, so that every scene inspires a host of dynamic readings mildly at odds with the others. Like the cartoon reality in which straightening a crooked picture only makes the room itself tilt, Jessup’s world is that of domestic space gone weird.

This exhibition of six paintings was dominated by a large diptych. In The Recipe for a Perfect Pie (all works 1999), it’s hard to tell whether the scene is reality or dream. The canvas on the left seems an allegory of waking life, although there are surreal aspects—the muffin-size pie hovering over the blank book that the hearty young couple consults,

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