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Leigh Ruple, Nightlight, 2017, oil on canvas, 16 x 20".

Leigh Ruple

Morgan Lehman Gallery

Leigh Ruple, Nightlight, 2017, oil on canvas, 16 x 20".

However improbable—given the bleak current national mood—the self-congratulatory strain of American modernist painting known as Precisionism is again in vogue. The Jazz Age movement, known for its sleek depictions of industry that tend to fall just on the romantic side of Photorealism—which mostly subsided in favor of more comforting figural works as the Great Depression (and American Regionalism) rolled in—is the subject of an upcoming survey at San Francisco’s de Young Museum. Less surprisingly, the aesthetic has popped up in contemporary painting, where its signature, evenly gradated planes have been flattened and distilled to their extremes. The effect is one of gentle rebuke, as if to say, “Look what subtleties your unqualified idealism has cost us!” To these artists’ ranks, one can add Leigh Ruple, whose recent paintings gaze at the Manhattan skyline as

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