Whether Dutch still-life, late Romantic oceans, or the work of Delacroix, Matthew Hansel‘s recent major oil paintings bring the artist’s distorting lens to different parts of art history. The latter paintings, in particular, show a disappearing, exposing the raw linen at the top of each work. He’s currently showing these paintings at The Hole NYC in “Giving Up the Ghost.” The show runs through July 7.
“What does it mean to treat art history in this way?” the gallery says. “The various distortions have the effect of blurring our memories of the experience of these historical works, their close-but-no-cigar mimesis gives us a sense of the uncanny. A historical painting has an effect at the time it was made and then a ghost-like reach into the future to have another life existing in other contexts and being seen completely differently. In multiple works by Hansel you see a depiction of “the artist” pop up; perhaps Hansel is thinking not just of the time traveling artwork but the posterity of the artist, moving across centuries as well, a magician who can conjure things out of time and into the timeless. The title ‘Giving Up the Ghost’ certainly suggests the specter of art history is lurking about.”