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Kantarovsky portrait painting of a boy
Kantarovsky portrait painting of a boy

Sanya Kantarovsky, Face 15 (2021), oil and waatercolor on linen. Photograph by Jeffrey Sturges. 

Sanya Kantarovsky: Recent Faces

Until 12 June at Luhring Augustine, 17 White Street, Manhattan

The exhibition Recent Faces is just that—15 new, modestly-sized paintings of dreamy, melancholic faces carried out in Kantarovsky’s poignant and wondrous style. Titled simply Face 1 through Face 15 and painted in 2021 in oil and watercolour on linen, each work seems to contain a narrative world all its own, as if every face were a still moment from a novel. The works are a healthy reminder that every person we pass on the street is in the midst of their own narrative journey, a long ribbon of joy and suffering unfurling from the nursery to the cemetery. The paint is handled differently throughout, some works like Face 5 and Face 15 have a texture and quality of lightness that feels as if they were monotypes, while Face 13 melds different touches to give us a figure whose face and clothing feel thick and wet, while her hair barely floats atop the picture plane as if it were rust caused by the elements.

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