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Alain Séchas

Had I walked into the wrong gallery? Or the right gallery, but in the wrong month? Or somehow misread the gallery guide? I’d been expecting to see an exhibition of Alain Séchas, but this did not look like the work of an artist who has been plausibly called—by critic Jeff Rian—a “grandchild of Freud and Disney, child of modernism and Pop art, a first-generation TV baby, artistic cousin of Mike Kelley and Charles Ray, and one of France’s best artists.” Where, for instance, were the cartoony sculptures, often of cutely anthropomorphic felines—the artist’s name being a homonym for ses chats, “his cats”—for which he is best known?

What I’d walked into instead was an exhibition of abstract painting: ten works of vigorous gesturalism in the Abstract Expressionist tradition, all painted in acrylic on paper mounted on canvas. They are small-gesture paintings, not big-gesture ones; a real Abstract

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