The press release for Kate Shepherd’s current show at Galerie Lelong sells us on the artist’s “resonant colors”, “assured use of line”, and sense of “chaos”; all of that is, of course, true. None of that makes the dozen or so large monochromes present at all worthwhile. Designed first in architectural software, each painting is a flat, glossy field of color, bisected by a single knot of compressed wireframe – presumably of something that looked more stable from the front. The figures (if that’s the term) depicted look vulnerable in their disorder, but that’s about it; there’s simply nothing more to talk about here. There is no discernible difference between the works other than size and color – perhaps one might go better with this or that couch – and the brushwork is intentionally invisible, part of Shepherd’s successful attempt at the effect of a CAD printout. Without anything of physical interest, the “burden of proof”, so to speak, falls on the spindly concept of depicting something three-dimensional in two-dimensions, and how tough that is; this, of course, being a question which is raised and resolved a dozen times or more in the course of an art history textbook, and one which is not added to or made more interesting by Shepherd’s half-involvement of computers. In any case, none of this description will be necessary to the experienced art viewer: walking in, it is immediately apparent what kind of art this is. The art world may only get one chance to see these paintings, but the business world will get many.
Kate Shepherd at Galerie Lelong
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