New York

Will Cotton

Mary Boone Gallery | Uptown

It must have seemed a good idea at the time: to symbolize habits of consumption—habits of appetite and its indulgence—with images of candy and confectionery. Will Cotton began doing that over a decade ago, painting increasingly elaborate, increasingly accomplished landscapes made up of sugar products of all kinds, and as the years passed, and the stock market rose, his work felt to some all the more acute. His sweet tooth also attracted him to portraying conventionally beautiful women, usually naked or nearly so, except that they’re often decorated—you can’t really say they wear these things—with top-heavy headgear made of lollipops, marshmallow, or cake. Looking alluringly out from under their edible architectures, these women reprise the National Airlines ad campaigns of the 1970s, whose sexually inviting stewardesses (“I’m Mandy . . . fly me”) infuriated feminists.

It looks like fun to

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