copenhagen

Charlie Roberts, Back Bridge, 2013, oil on canvas, 70 7/8 x 67".

Charlie Roberts

David Risley Gallery

Charlie Roberts, Back Bridge, 2013, oil on canvas, 70 7/8 x 67".

Charlie Roberts may be a native of Kansas who studied in Vancouver and lives in Oslo, but his work makes me think more of Leipzig than of anywhere else. Maybe that’s just to say that his art thrives not on his heritage, education, or context but on inherently unpredictable factors of imagination and energy. In any case, his bluntly stylized figuration suggests an affinity with Christoph Ruckhäberle and the artists associated with Lubok Verlag, and indeed Roberts’s work shows a similar fascination with folk art and popular graphics.

Sharing the exhibition’s title, “Sporty Girls,” was a series of five large paintings, each depicting a woman who seems to be a seriously multitasking athlete. One, for instance, is ready not just for a baseball game but to play every position at once: Wielding a bat with one hand, she wears a glove on the other (Di Maggio, all works 2013). Another woman,

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