Despite their hefty exposed stretcher bars, Ron Gorchov’s new canvases have a spontaneity that belies the fact that he has been making variants of the same painting since the late 1960s. The octogenarian is well known in New York for his concave paintings that resemble shields, as well as for stacks of curved monochromes. This show contains oil-on-linen works of both types, all dated 2016, that prove it takes a lot of expertise to make something look effortless.
Two beanlike shapes appear on the shield paintings in colors that contrast with the ground. In each painting, he resolves the forms differently. In the orange Hippolyte, they appear as mottled branches or worms. Yellow and navy blobs evoke human profiles on the light blue ground of Nausicca. Fuchsia angel wings glow against turquoise in Salammbo. Gorchov builds up the colors from thin layers of paint, giving them a clarity and precision that comes from his deep knowledge of the medium. —Cathy Lebowitz
Pictured: Ron Gorchov: Cybele, 2016, oil on linen, 48 by 68 by 14 inches. Courtesy Cheim and Read, New York.