William Daniels

Vilma Gold

You might think that what makes William Daniels’s small, almost colorless paintings so exceptional is their extreme technical proficiency, but they’re more intellectually ambitious than that. Three years ago Daniels gained attention for canvases based on his own torn-cardboard tableaux of famous paintings: Cheap, homey material stood in for Mont Sainte Victoire or Caravaggio’s David with the Head of Goliath, painstakingly reproduced, with Vija Celmins–esque levels of detail, in small brownish-gray paintings. For his recent show, Daniels covered his cardboard models in aluminum foil, and the resulting paintings are even more wondrous than his earlier works.

In these new paintings, the sources are less immediately recognizable. The subject emerges slowly out of the riot of silvers, browns, blues, and whites that form an almost cubist mosaic of paint. With some effort, Baselitz’s inverted

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