boston

Ridley Howard

Miller Yezerski Gallery

New York–based painter Ridley Howard is profoundly attached to the South of his childhood. The six large-scale oil paintings and three drawings in the “Palace Court” series, 1998–2000, on view in his first solo exhibition recently, depict this twenty-six-year-old artist’s neighbors on the suburban Atlanta street where he spent his first thirteen years. In the narrative theater of Howard’s canvas, his characters—Janie Mulaski, Mr. Genn, Hester, Barbara, Kelly, the Domenicos—function as cultural archetypes and autobiographical signifiers. Howard’s settings and figures are drawn from memory where the mundane becomes mythic, and his irreverent, King of the Hill–style realism infuses his scenes with a pop theatricality. Playing out the premise that all memory is fictive, the objects that complement the protagonists—from batons to hoses and gourd birdhouses—serve as attributes and indices of

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