New York

View of “James Nares,” 2019. Photo: Christopher Stach.

View of “James Nares,” 2019. Photo: Christopher Stach.

James Nares

Kasmin | 509 W 27th Street

James Nares’s eight ingenious and materially intriguing paintings at Kasmin Gallery—made from twenty-two-karat gold leaf applied to a ground of black Evolon, a microfilament textile—created a richly existential space with the most elemental of contrasts: light and dark, symbolizing life and death. The surfaces of his abstractions—stippled or covered with striations that vaguely resemble the hides of cheetahs, tigers, and other exotic cats—are resolutely flat, in the grand modernist tradition. Yet they are profoundly expressive, rich with personal and social meaning, as evidenced by the pictures’ titles, such as Greenwich I, 2018; Lafayette VI and Lafayette VII, both 2019; Laight I, 2018; and Wooster, 2019—which cite streets in Lower Manhattan, where the artist has lived for decades. He has strolled these sidewalks, some of which are centuries old, again and again. They possess an extraordinary

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