Art In America

Michaela Eichwald

at Reena Spaulings Fine Art,
165 East Broadway

The imposing painting Frank und Pflaumi haben einen Traum (Frank and Plfaumi Have a Dream, 2017) greets visitors to Michaela Eichwald’s show. It’s a playful exercise in heraldry, where slapdash execution coyly undermines the monumental scale and aristocratic imagery. Two lions, sketched out in dark gray oils, hold a bulbous shape filled with a jumble of letters (F, K, Q, A, and some indecipherable others). The work is done on a blue-and-white-striped textile with a surface that’s slick, like a cheap tablecloth, and the pattern’s lines show through the thin, liquid patches of paint. The paintings installed beyond Frank und Pflaumi also hint at questions of taste and class through their palettes and materials. The figure in Periodensystem der Elemente: Inner Uebergangsmetalle (The Periodic Table of Elements: Transition Metals, 2017) looks like a bending woman’s ass; the reds and pinks used to depict it stumble over the plastic substrate’s raised grid. Another work is executed on a print patterned after the beige, buttoned pleather of suburban couch upholstery. Eichwald has smeared burnt-umber, rust, mustard, and pink oils on top of it in generous curves and splotches. It’s mounted on a slab of drywall painted a dull shade of teal. “Frank,” the show’s title, variously evokes a hot dog, a working-class guy, an archaic Germanic ethnicity. It also describes Eichwald’s deadpan manner of imposing paints on unwelcoming surfaces and her matter-of-fact presentation of the strikingly unlovely results. —Brian Droitcour

 

Pictured: View of Michaela Eichwald's exhibition "Frank," 2017, at Reena Spaulings Fine Art, New York. Photo Joerg Lohse.

More from the Lookout

Florine Stettheimer

at the Jewish Museum,
through Sept. 24
1109 5th Avenue

“Body, Self, Society: Chinese Performance Photography of the 1990s”

at the Walther Collection Project Space,
through Aug. 19
526 West 26th Street, Suite 718

Roni Horn

at Hauser & Wirth,
through Jul. 29
548 West 22nd Street

Henri Cartier-Bresson

at the Rubin Museum of Art,
through Sept. 4
150 West 17th Street

Closing

Lygia Pape

at the Met Breuer,
through Jul. 23
945 Madison Avenue

Closing

Georgia O’Keeffe

at Brooklyn Museum,
through Jul. 23
200 Eastern Parkway

“Self-Interned, 1942: Noguchi in Poston War Relocation Center”

at the Isamu Noguchi Museum,
through Jan. 7
9-01 33rd Road, Long Island City

Submit your e-mail to receive insider information from the art world every week.