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Back to Reviews 96

Jennifer Reeves, 
Untitled, 1996, 
acrylic on wood, 
c. 24 x 48 in.

david ebony's 
new york top ten

Jennifer Reeves 
at the Roger Smith
Nov. 7-Dec. 20, 1996 
Jennifer Reeves' work has appeared in group 
shows around town--at Jack Shainman, and 
elsewhere--and she has had solos in Chicago 
and Paris. This exhibition marks her New 
York solo debut. 
When I first saw her work last season--two 
paintings at Jack Shainman--it struck me, 
contradictorily, as a kind of ultra-
sophisticated folk art. Now all New Yorkers 
can decide for themselves. This storefront 
gallery is brightly lit at night so you can 
even drive by in the wee hours of the 
morning and see the show. But drive slowly 
or else you will miss the textural nuances 
that are the cornerstones of Reeves' 
paintings. In each work she sets up an 
innocuous--and sometimes crudely rendered--
background landscape, that is pictorially 
disrupted by a painterly, abstract 
intrusion. Passages of thickly painted 
lines, for instance, serve as foils in a 
turbulent seascape or a bucolic farm scene. 
One canvas shows two garbage cans connected 
by incongruous globs of brown paint. Once 
coherent, Reeves' scenes crumble before the 
eyes into a painterly farce. Reeves is a 
painter to watch, or watch out for. She has 
something to say. I'm not sure what it is 
yet, but I'm all ears--and eyes.
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