Jeffery Camp

Browse & Darby

The first thing I felt as I began to take in Jeffery Camp’s paintings was a sense of heady, happy displacement. Here was something unexpected, something that blithely upended my categories for receiving and “placing” contemporary art. Part of that reaction has to do with context, of which we critics are not supposed to take much notice but which can hardly help but condition our expectations. In the case of Browse & Darby—a venerable venue that, as Camp, himself remarks in the exhibition catalogue, “will always be thought of as Euan Uglow’s gallery”—those expectations are of something solid and measured like Uglow’s paintings but rather distant from the concerns of most artists under fifty—in other words, something resembling a figurative tradition fallen into respectable dowdiness. So the first source of surprise was that these oddly-shaped little pastoral scenes were

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