New York

Philip Taaffe, Altarpiece (detail), 2018, mixed media on canvas, 102 × 75 5⁄8".

Philip Taaffe, Altarpiece (detail), 2018, mixed media on canvas, 102 × 75 5⁄8".

Philip Taaffe

Luhring Augustine | Chelsea

Philip Taaffe is a human search engine, an old-school “image scavenger” hoovering up an encyclopedic array of abstract, symbolic, and representational material to populate the transcultural painterly pastiches for which he is famous. No Google sourcing or pixelation here: The library and the bookstore conspire with the entire catalogue of analog mark-making and a variety of increasingly quaint or nostalgic printmaking and image-transfer techniques—e.g., decoupage, frottage, mono- and screen-printing—to produce visual fields of varying pictorial and affective intensity. This show, Taaffe’s third solo outing with Luhring Augustine, included a few sparky compositions and a couple of scorchers, but not all of the thirteen works on view, which ranged in size from large to extra large, burned so brightly. Though each demonstrated a high degree of formal experimentation, a laudable hallmark of

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