Anna Conway, Storm Preparations, 2017, oil on canvas, 48 x 90".

Anna Conway

Fergus McCaffrey

Anna Conway, Storm Preparations, 2017, oil on canvas, 48 x 90".

With their brooding tones, stark settings, and elusive narratives, Anna Conway’s paintings are the visual equivalents of spy novels. Like the best works in the genre (books by John le Carré, for example), Conway’s oils on canvas are marked by the abundance and clarity of their details—and by the thrill of trying to decipher which details are significant and which are merely mundane. Every object—from river-rock-paneled trash can to Castiglioni Arco lamp to safety-orange extension cord—is rendered with such precision that it can be difficult to figure out where the meaning resides. Does the specificity of modernist furniture in Perseverance, 2015, with its anodyne scent of good taste, trump the overall feeling of empty foreboding? The bland interiors in Conway paintings are paralleled by that of the gallery space where her artworks hang—but is that a coincidence

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