new-york

Stephen Bush

Goff + Rosenthal

Imagine a monastic hut from a Sung dynasty scroll transplanted onto a slab of molten lime bubble gum with a pea soup base, a riotous aurora borealis behind, and a magenta abyss in front. What was quiet and meditative becomes shrieking and ominous, the sublime depiction of majestic topography twisted into garish chemical goo. In the blackness beyond the hut’s open doorway might lurk a psychopath, a monster, a vengeful ghost—or only the darkest projections of one’s own unconscious.

Stephen Bush’s new landscape paintings are a luridly unorthodox contribution to the genre, but they nonetheless share one of its central themes: nature as an expression of the psyche. The canvases in his recent show (all works 2005) invert both Eastern visions of spiritual sanctuary and Western fantasies of manifest destiny. Half-hidden by whorls and ribbons of pooled, poured, streaked, and scraped orange, green,

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.