Helene Appel

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What is it about minimalist, photo-realistic painting that is so alluring? Helene Appel’s current show at Cohan—the Berlin-based artist’s U.S. debut—includes life-size depictions of rippling sheets of plastic, wrinkled fabric and sinewy cuts of meat, all on rough, untreated linen or burlap. It’s difficult to resist running your hands over paintings like Untitled (Sweepings), which shows a pile of studio debris, or Hesse and Beinscheibe, both depicting raw cuts of meat, just to make sure they’re not real.