- Source: THE NEW YORK TIMES
- Author: WILL HEINRICH
- Date: OCTOBER 19, 2018
- Format: PRINT AND DIGITAL
What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week
Through Oct. 28. Queer Thoughts, 373 Broadway, #C9, Manhattan; 212-680-0116; queerthoughts.com.
At the center of Chelsea Culprit’s new show, “DMing Purgatory,” are two large paintings, one stacked on top of the other, that cover an entire wall of the tiny downtown gallery Queer Thoughts. Both are filled with women’s hands and feet in gloves, red nail polish, and red, white and yellow pumps. Both also borrow extensively from the German Expressionist Max Beckmann: Ms. Culprit uses his expedient black outlines, mildly grotesque figuration and distinctive palette of saturated colors. By chopping up his narrative allegories into a chaotic and somewhat grimy tangle of limbs, though, she makes Beckmann, who died in 1950, eminently of the moment. Ms. Culprit, who is based in Mexico City, retains the vivid, graphic appeal of Beckmann’s painted surfaces while simultaneously evoking all the squalor of the highly financialized contemporary art market.
Two shaped-canvas constructions nearby pull off a similarly bracing contradiction, marrying a cynical take on the visual language of fashion with a genuine delight in its color and form. In “Butterfly Moth in Transcendental State,” two disembodied pairs of female legs, one covered in black-and-white gingham and the other in yellow, are pressed together to form a sexy faux monogram. “Black Widow Anarchist Hour Glass,” a red-and-black figure eight of gloves, heels and chains, is even balder — an elegant emblem of sadomasochistic ostentation.