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TimeOut New York

Summer Pictures

By Paul Laster

August 13-19, 2009

“Summer Pictures”
Julie Saul Gallery, through Sept 12
There seems to be little that Isaac Mizrahi is incapable of doing. The fashion designer, long a favorite of magazine editors, has acted in several films, including two that were directed by Woody Allen, and is the cohost of Bravo’s reality-TV series The Fashion Show. Now Mizrahi is making his curatorial debut with this group show, and he does so with the same enthusiasm he brings to the rest of his work.
“Summer Pictures” features a lively mix of colorful paintings and works on paper by eight artists, seven of whom are women. Julia Sherman, a relation of Mizrahi’s who has long inspired his fashion work, has a large, dynamic dot painting from 1962, which playfully relates to a new, but much smaller, painting of cupcakes by Pop realist Wayne Thiebaud. The food theme is continued in Maira Kalman’s small gouache paintings on paper—images of breakfasts around the world, which were made for an editorial project in Gourmet magazine. Kalman’s vivid portrayals connect to Donna Chung’s energetic, mixed-media composites of animals and symbols, while both artists offer opposing visions to Jane Freilicher’s somber still lifes. However, Freilicher’s depictions of vases and flowers in front of fading landscapes relate nicely to Maureen Gallace’s abstracted views of nature.
Meanwhile, Lisa Sanditz and Adrianne Lobel show more toxic visions of the world—rounding out what Mizrahi recently labeled “a pretty haphazard group of pictures” that’s unified by the artists’ sense of color and the curator’s affection for it.—Paul Laster