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Sascha Braunig, Troll, 2014, oil on linen over panel, 15 × 12".

Sascha Braunig

Foxy Production

Sascha Braunig, Troll, 2014, oil on linen over panel, 15 × 12".

One of the drawbacks of having been an art critic for a long time is that you sometimes forget what decade you’re standing in. When I walked into Sascha Braunig’s recent exhibition, her third in New York but the first I’ve seen, I imagined for a moment that I was back in the 1980s—specifically, in that brief interregnum between neo-expressionism and neo-geo, when what was called neo-Surrealism was the rage, and artists such as Will Mentor, Peter Schuyff, and Tishan Hsu seemed ubiquitous. Their work was typically a curiously manneristic amalgam of organicism, geometry, and Op illusion—a sort of abstract uncanny.

Braunig’s work would have fit into that trend with ease. A painting such as Troll, 2014, illustrates this: On one level, it’s a pure exercise in color control, in which the artist uses phylloid patterning and a palette limited to yellow and periwinkle to construct

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