new-york

Nora Speyer

Denise Bibro Fine Art

Freud wrote in 1905, “Seeing is ultimately derived from touching,” which is sexually “indispensable,” “a source of pleasure.” The most “touching” textures in paint are subliminally sexual, that is, poignantly suggestive of tactile sensations abstracted from an object. Freud’s insight comes to mind when faced with Nora Speyer’s canvases and their richly evocative, peculiarly impacted primordial texture, notto mention her vision of basic sexual objects—bodies (mostly naked and female) orgiastically entangled at times but more often falling in abysmal space, like souls in traditional images of hell.

As is well known, Freud associates dreams of falling with anxiety and (especially in the case of women) surrender to temptation. Speyer’s often open-mouthed “Dream Sequence” figures seem to reflect both. In Dream Sequence II, 1996, the anxiety aroused by surrender seems explicit: A woman (a troubled

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