The New Yorker

Holly Coulis

By Johanna Fateman

November 18, 2019

Holly Coulis

The ebullient still-lifes in this winning show recall both the radiant geometric abstractions of Sonia Delaunay and psychedelic game boards. The Athens, Georgia-based painter renders her overlapping vases, pitchers, and bowls of fruit—as well as levitating pears, bananas, cherries, and other shapely produce—as flat forms outlined with vibrating bands of color. These are rapturous, space-bending compositions, but the unexpected showstoppers are Coulis’s jigsawed wooden constructions, displayed on plinths, which are her sculptural début. Brightly colored grooves outline their stylized imagery, and kinetic cutouts (of lemons, mostly) disrupt their colorful planes. These curious works sometimes have a toylike, or even utilitarian, presence; the handsome “Steam and Donut Shadow” is capped by a biomorphic swoop of blue vapor that could double as a dish-towel hook