Washington, DC

Erik Thor Sandberg

Conner Contemporary Art

Erik Thor Sandberg’s six richly sculptural, masterfully executed figurative paintings in “Cyclical Nature” feature compositions both witty and, with their flagrant nudity, engagingly confrontational. More psychologically probing and viscerally introspective than the works in his 2006 show, “Contrary”—in which nearly nude figures represented vanity, vice, and virtue—these paintings are among his strongest to date, and possess a painterly finish on par with the work of Lisa Yuskavage and John Currin.

Sandberg has made, and continues to make, drawings and small-scale paintings depicting individuals in odd maquillage taunting one another. Signifying the toils, torments, and sometimes the joys of life, these buffoonish and occasionally revolting encounters recall the treatment of parables and personifications of human folly by sixteenth-century Netherlandish artists like Bosch and Bruegel.

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