Ingrid Sischy once located a disjunction in the critical response to the doughy imps of Fernando Botero’s paintingsthere didn’t appear to be a consensus as to whether the Colombian artist’s work was a parody of the bourgeoisie or a bourgeois parody. A similar ambiguity might be attributed to the comely chalk pastels of Swiss artist Nicolas Party. With crisp, saturated graphics, Party moves through the genres of portraiture, landscape, and still life, keeping each categorically distinct, and keeping it all contemporary by borrowing art-historical styles with post-internet abandon. We see in the work elements of Botero, but also of Pablo Picasso, Giorgio Morandi, Milton Avery, John Armleder, Alex Katz, Charles Burchfield. . . . I could go on. All of this sampling should amount to a Frankensteinian plurality, but instead, these appropriative compositions cohere into something
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