new-york

Katy Moran

Andrea Rosen Gallery

Katy Moran’s solo debut at Andrea Rosen Gallery proved as “riveting” as the press release trumpeted, despite the fact that nobody could quite agree on what her abstract paintings are about, where they come from, or what they finally depict. Brushed and smeared in a romantic palette of muted olives and ochres, supported by fleshy peach or flecked with vital red, and relieved by occasional daubs of turquoise and crisp neutrals, Moran’s diminutive, domestic-size canvases can read as landscapes, seascapes, portraits, or anything but. Indeed, they seemingly bait critical appraisal while embarrassing easy circumscription, bringing to mind nothing so much as Henry James’s “The Figure in the Carpet” (1896) and its thematization of hermeneutics. Variously described as something that critics missed, a secret, a trick, and, most famously, “a complex figure in a Persian carpet,” the enigmatic import

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