• Vanessa Maltese, Capacity for Self Control, 2016, oil on panel, painted steel, plastic hair clip, 65 × 65 × 2".

    Vanessa Maltese

    Cooper Cole

    A bright scarlet, life-size aluminum cast of an overturned Converse All Star lay on the floor, somewhat incongruously, below four large, circular oils on panel in Vanessa Maltese’s recent exhibition, “Birds flew down to peck at the painted grapes.” The show’s title referenced the story of Zeuxis, the legendary Greek painter whose lifelike rendering of grapes fooled birds into trying to eat the fruit, according to Pliny the Elder. Between the ancient grapes and the modern shoe, Maltese let us know that she’s playing the art-historical long game. Perhaps the appeal of this richly allusive work,

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