new-york

Jeanne Silverthorne

McKee Gallery

The most obviously, even cornily beautiful set of works in Jeanne Silverthorne’s show also neatly summed up some of the artist’s longstanding concerns. This was a group of floral still lifes from 2008, hung in ornate frames on the wall like any in the great tradition of flower paintings from Jan Breughel on down. But Silverthorne’s blossoms, in blue, white, and pink, have an overblown, sugar-candy kind of ripeness that makes them seem to overflow their frames—in fact they literally bulge outward, being three-dimensional, cast in rubber several inches thick. In this material the petals seem weird in consistency: stiff, soft, firm, turgid, and blowsy all at once. The frames are cast in the same rubber, now a dead, light-absorbent black that belies their baroque moldings. And each of the three works is dotted with feeding insects—respectively bees, ladybugs, and flies. In these “pictures” a

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