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Vanessa Prager at Diane Rosenstein Gallery
February 20, 2021 - April 10, 2021
In Vanessa Prager’s “Static” at Diane Rosenstein in Hollywood, paint is applied in gloopy and textural layers that create shag rug-type surfaces. This creates a staticky effect on each work—figures or still lifes are obscured beneath layers of thick oils, making them appear stuck like ambered fossils. “This idea of ‘static’ really seemed right because we’re all suspended in animation this year,” Prager told Los Angeles Magazine. In “Wite-Out,” a depth of field is palpable, yet the scene is unrecognizable, like looking at a landscape through a blizzard. An orange triangular shape in the foreground vaguely resembles a traffic cone, perhaps eliciting the ubiquitous Covid-testing sites that now pock our urban landscape. In “Static,” eyes, nose, and a mouth are visible, but only just — as if trying to make out the features of a loved one who you haven’t seen in recent months. Yet, while the show elicits notions of distance and longing, the color palette feels impressionistic, and spring-like, as if the blizzard we’ve all been hampered by might soon lift.
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Photo: Vanessa Prager, “Wite-Out,” 2020, Oil on canvas, 72 x 96 in (183.9 x 243.8 cm), ©Vanessa Prager, Photo by Fredrik Nilsen Studio (Courtesy private collection, California)