Verne Dawson

Galerie Eva Presenhuber

It’s always fascinating to see how freely today’s painting deals with stories, including its own. Take, for example, Verne Dawson’s exhibition, in which various modes of painting combine to evoke a complex, inward-looking worldview, replete with layers of reference: In Venus (all works 2003), the goddess, born of foam, is painted as a figurine on a coastline. Venus appears next to Mars, a painting of the red planet on a black quadrant of interstellar night. Nearby are John Giorno, a portrait in profile; Vase, a still life of a richly ornamented little vessel against a bright sky; Three Rats, a tondo featuring a trio of rodents whose tails slither across a flat surface; and two paintings in which the glowing ball of the sun looks as if its red had been melted into the yellow background in a gesture of abstraction. The mythic and the cosmic meet in Aerialists (Red & White), in which two

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