New York

Mel Odom, Them, ca. 1980, graphite on vellum, 14 × 11".

Mel Odom, Them, ca. 1980, graphite on vellum, 14 × 11".

Mel Odom

Daniel Cooney Fine Art

“An addict of beauty” is what the novelist Edmund White dubbed Mel Odom during a public conversation only days after the artist’s solo exhibition, aptly titled “Gorgeous,” opened. White would know, because he’s an expert on the subject. And so is Odom, a maker of ethereal images that depict splendidly chiseled men and glamorous women who appear as though they’ve been tenderly reinforced with light. Thirty-five of his modestly sized drawings (the largest of which are only fourteen inches high), produced between 1975 and 2018, made up this show.

Odom came to fame in the 1970s as a commercial illustrator and retired from the business in 1996. His stunning portraits—many of them rendered in a combination of gouache, pencil, and Peerless-brand dyes—have graced the book covers of mystery writer Ruth Rendell, vampire queen Anne Rice, and White himself. They’ve also materialized in an array of

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 receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the April 2019 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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