New York in Review
Arts Magazine, September 1991
- Peggy Cyphers
David Beitzel Gallery, New York
The nostalgically sensual egg tempera paintings of Andrew Young are embedded with historical, narrative clues. Bits and pieces of imagery float into view out of these slippery, crackled surfaces; the silky golden layers of egg tempera glow under the heavily varnished veneers, appearing stretched and decayed by time. Architectural motifs such as window frames, doorways, and trellises are used as devices to define moody, atmospheric spaces. Embedded within his compacted, subtly intriguing human spaces are fragments of still life and vaguely representational forms. Using an old-world, Dutch Master palette of golden umbers, Young’s chiaroscuro nocturnal ambience romantically references memory and times past. These small-scaled paintings at David Beitzel (March 28 – April 20) encourage the viewer to dissect visually the ruins of his leathery veneers for the imagery that would identify his conceptual intent. But representation stops short of stimulating a productive narrative or conceptual dialogue. For now, we must be satisfied with the beauty of his purely meditative reflections on space, his essences of tight pictorial and architectural realms, as attic treasures full of nostalgia and sensory expression.
Egg tempera on wood panel, 23 x 22.5 in.
Collection of the Tucson Museum of Art