Anyone who hopes or fears that painting is dead would do well to visit "Between Picture and Viewer: The Image in Contemporary Painting" at the School of Visual Arts Gallery.
Yes, the title is murky -- forget it. Yes, the catalogue is turgid -- don't read it. Yes, the paintings are well worth seeing -- just go and look.
Halvorson is the real standout. Her work here (see the two works above) is lush, though it depicts the most simple and sometimes time-worn objects -- photo albums, wood boards, a cake pan. Her palette, mostly browns and grays, is quite rich. This is painting at its intimate best, tactile and personal. If anyone could resurrect still-life as a contemporary genre, it would be her.
Of the 19 artists, who are represented by 50-some paintings, the majority are women. The show makes no note of this. Hallelujah, on both counts.
"Between Picture and Viewer: The Image in Contemporary Painting," School of Visual Arts Gallery, 601 West 26th St., 15th Floor. Through December 22.
Images, from top: Josephine Halvorson, "Cake Pan," "Two Primed Boards," courtesy Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York; Alexi Worth, "Smoker and Mirror," courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York; Inka Essenhigh, "Green Goddess I," courtesy 303 Gallery, New York; Joe Fyfe, "Dargah," courtesy James Graham & Sons, New York.