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DAVID HUMPHREY

Two Mugs, 2013

Acrylic on canvas

54 x 44 inches

David Humphrey at Fredericks & Freiser, through November 8

By David Ebony


One of David Humphrey's most cohesive exhibitions, “Work and Play" contains 16 recent paintings and sculptures that feature wildly imaginative approaches to the figure and convey the New York artist's uniquely acerbic sense of humor. One canvas, On the Couch, is a striking image showing a seated male figure with legs crossed. The lower portion of the figure is well defined, while, contradictorily, the faintly outlined shoulders and face seem to dissolve into the ethereal blue background.

 

Another large painting, Intended (6 by 5 feet), appears nearly totally abstract, a nod to AbEx painting, perhaps. Against a white background, wispy stokes of red and blue, however, reveal a stylized face and an arm reaching toward the right. Among the strangest works here are the sculptures, such as Modern Artist and Campfire, made of rather unusual materials, such as painted foam, paper pulp, wood, and hydrocal. These raucous pieces imply an exploration of psychological states and relationships to space and time rather than studies of the human figure or animal shapes.