San Francisco

Stefan Kürten

Hosfelt Gallery

Bryan Ferry’s subdued 1973 paean to suburban ennui, “In Every Dream Home a Heartache,” applies very neatly to the well-appointed but visibly aging midcentury dwellings that are the subjects of Stefan Kürten’s richly patterned paintings. The fifteen works in Kürten’s recent show invariably depict middle- and upper-middle-class abodes that exude stoic isolation beneath visually complex exteriors. The residences are shrouded in or embellished with kudzu-strength vines and trees planted when the developments were new. Intricate exterior patterning is the sole notable feature of this otherwise unremarkable architecture.

A number of works feature backgrounds of shimmering gold paint, a surface treatment that lends a glimmer of low-rent magic. And in a few interior views, chic art direction and modern designer furniture betray the wealth and taste of the residents; yet, as in the glossy pages of

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