Doron Langberg’s paintings visualize the comet streak of people moving through one’s life: the pulls they exert, the energies they radiate, and the colors they bring. In Likeness, his debut at Yossi Milo, the artist demonstrates how much empathy can be imbued in committing a person’s image to canvas. It’s a collection of work that’s as queer in subject as it is in form, wielding bold colors that warp his sitters’ features or throw them dramatically into relief. The effect is stunning, portraits that exceed their limits and become cosmic landscapes for one’s eyes (and heart) to wander.
It’s poetic that Likeness is the first solo show of paintings to be exhibited by the photo-centric Yossi Milo. Langberg’s studies capture fleeting moments when the world is lit up by a person’s energy, visualizing traces of an ambient glow that only master photographers perceive behind the lens. Both disciplines require intense focus and Likeness is all the more remarkable for including work that shows Langberg developing his eye in real time. Pink-hued “Lea” and raven-haired “Erika” form the basis for larger eponymous works, while “Oren” represents an important course-correction from head-on confrontation with his subjects to dreamy contemplation at a painterly remove.
Langberg’s larger pieces find him clear-eyed and flexing his arsenal of talents. The gorgeously busy “Daniel Reading” balances saturated colors, finely sketched figuration, and textured clumps of paint. “Jenna and Mackenzie” is a hazily romantic (and questionably sober) vision of a night out, while “TM in the Meat Rack” is evocative of a Wakefield Poole film: a queer figure suspended in borderless space slowly materializing into the shape of pure desire.
But it’s the beautifully rendered sex act in “Zach and Craig” that is most emblematic of the show’s spirit, an intimate encounter shared between painter and subjects that extends past the limits of figuration and into the realm of infinite feeling.
Likeness continues at Yossi Milo Gallery (245 Tenth Ave, Chelsea) through October 19, 2019.
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With A Lion for Every House at the Art Institute of Chicago, Floating Museum riffs wildly on the art rental programs of some museums.
Art and photographs, publications from the 19th and 20th centuries, manuscripts, posters and more are set to cross the auction block on August 18.
A Thing for the Mind takes Philip Guston’s 1978 painting “Story” as a starting point to examine the myriad ways in which this piece has filtered into the work of other painters.
An Oakland librarian and a French teacher in Oklahoma City collect ephemera they discover in returned and used books, from photos and recipes to love letters.
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Incarcerated people will be allowed to read Heather Ann Thompson’s 2016 Blood in the Water, except for two pages featuring a map of the prison.
The Nevada Museum of Art in Reno welcomes guests to learn about “The Architect to the Stars” through captivating black and white photography. On view through October 2.
The long-lost painting resurfaced at the upscale Urban Gallery in Tel Aviv, sparking the anger of Palestinians.
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This week, the Webb space telescope wows, übernovels, crappy pigeon nests, the problem with “experts,” and much more.