Hope Gangloff, ‘Late Night (Olga Alexandrovskaya),’ 2015.
- Kevin Greenberg
Photography by Adam Reich. All images courtesy of the artist and Susan Inglett Gallery, New York.
HOPE GANGLOFF'S NEW PORTRAITS
In recent years, the artist Hope Gangloff has made a conscious effort to return to painting at the ambitious scale she enjoyed in her youth. Of large-scale painting, Gangloff told The Last Magazine in 2013, “I love moving across a canvas, it feels good.” Now the fruits of that return are on view in a new series of wall-filling portraits on display at Susan Inglett Gallery.
The pieces on display in Gangloff’s current show don’t represent a radical break from her work of the recent past, though that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable or absorbing. In each canvas, Gangloff depicts a friend, acquaintance, or family member enmeshed in a deliberately shallow field full of vibrant colors, patterns, and textures. Gangloff has recently been the subject of several solo exhibitions—at the Broad Museum in Michigan, the Kemper Museum in Kansas City, and the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut—and her exuberant and playful line work feels more confident than ever in this new suite of canvases.
Gangloff excels at the subtle form of perception that is the currency of the best portrait painters. The slightly skewed perspective of her gaze, together with the stylized poses she chooses for her subjects—be they active or in repose—combine to evoke the character of the sitter. The playful riot of everyday objects, animals, and textiles that frame the individuals she paints seems carefully chosen to enhance the viewer’s understanding of each person’s interior life. Gangloff weaves meaning into her work with subtle touches, such as the “Save Cooper” button worn by the artist Yuri Masnyj in Checkered Flag, which speaks to the debate over tuition that unfolded last year at Gangloff’s (and Masnyj’s) alma mater. As in the best classical art, the narrative is there to be read and interpreted, if the viewer takes the time to consider the details.
Hope Gangloff’s exhibition is on view through Saturday at Susan Inglett Gallery, 522 West 24th Street, New York.