reviews

Genieve Figgis, The Happy Accidents of the Swing (after Fragonard), 2018, acrylic on canvas, 47 1/4 x 39 3/8".

Genieve Figgis

Almine Rech Gallery | Paris

Genieve Figgis, The Happy Accidents of the Swing (after Fragonard), 2018, acrylic on canvas, 47 1/4 x 39 3/8".

Genieve Figgis’s painted tableaux often seem to present a dramatic event, like an operatic performance, but one whose coordinates can’t fully be discerned. The Irish painter’s characters, who adopt theatrical poses or stand in groups, as in a conversation piece, are well aware that they are on public display. Judging by their regal costumes—long, wide dressing gowns; tuxedoes; gaiters; elaborate headgear—their time is not our own. Moreover, they move about in spaces unlike ours. The paintings provide glimpses of frescoed ceilings, chandeliers with candles, gilded furniture with bouquets of flowers, arches and expansive windows, heavy curtains and carpets, pianos and canopy beds. On the walls hang portraits whose subjects are depicted with the same level of realism as the characters themselves.

Typically created without preparatory drawings and left unframed, the paintings

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the April 2018 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.