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Hurvin Anderson, Beaded Curtain (Red Apples), 2010, oil on canvas, 94 1/2 x 59".

Hurvin Anderson

Michael Werner | New York

Hurvin Anderson, Beaded Curtain (Red Apples), 2010, oil on canvas, 94 1/2 x 59".

The thirteen paintings and one diptych, most intimately sized but some of epic dimensions, in Hurvin Anderson’s first New York solo gallery exhibition can be classified as landscapes: They picture the lush, equatorial scenery of Trinidad, where the London-based artist spent some time a few years ago. That they are all predominantly green thus stands to reason. Why, then, did the omnipresent verdancy (in all its guises—lime to teal, olive to emerald) feel at times superfluous, a gilding-the-lily excess?

The answer, I think, is that Anderson is at heart just as much an abstract painter as he is a figurative one (certain earlier canvases verge on total abstraction, and a suite of domestic interiors, shown at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 2009, are studded with nonrepresentational elements). And while most of these images read as depictive, all have liberal passages untethered

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