Monday, June 11, 2018

Julien Nguyen at Modern Art


carved with surgical precision, brandish the painterly like a sharp object. It lends a callousness to its images, figures, who, threatened by its scalpel, twist or elongate at the demands for painterly charisma. Like painting itself coerces the bodies into a marfan syndrome. One of Nguyen's closest counterparts might be Yuskavage overperformance of painting in colorful miasmas and overripe bodily distensions become here some masculine guile: doubling down on the biblical anachronism, stitching modern stylistics to old boards, a system for Nguyen to float brushwork as history unmoored and its ghosts redressed and cut up for today. Cartoon: Nail holes in flesh are instead rubies cut for symbols of blood, but there is none, no transubstantiation, only the artist's paint as the end game, bloodless, or this painting's aortic reds and blue chambers, like a diagram for heart.

See too: Lisa Yuskavage at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis