Art In America

Walton Ford

at Paul Kasmin,
293 Tenth Ave.

Big (up to 10 feet on a side), bright and meticulously rendered, these recent watercolors add a new twist to Ford's longstanding, well-researched concern with human categorizations of nature. Not only do we encounter an albumlike rendering of an ancient mythical serpent inhaling multitudinous birds, we also get to see Susie, the first female gorilla brought to the U.S., ensconced in a zeppelin cabin during her 1929 flight. Nearby is Happy Jerry, a port-drinking, clay-pipe-smoking mandrill who once lunched at Windsor Castle with King George IV. For the first time, Ford offers us the internal reflections of several of his creatures in wry marginal notations. Inter-species assessment, it seems, is a two-way street.

 

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