Cover image of the review
Catherine Clayton Smith, Laid in Waiting, 2022, Acrylic on canvas, 198 x 138 cm. Image courtesy of Chalkhorse. Photo: Simon Hewson


30 Apr 2022
Chalk Horse 14 Apr - 7 May 2022

Catherine Clayton Smith’s Brimming is currently on show at Chalkhorse, the one-time artist-run space turned commercial gallery. It is a thoughtful, absorbing collection of new paintings. Following her riotously sensual 2020 show, After The Orgy, this exhibition expands Clayton Smith’s painterly language and gestures toward the transcendental. At times, her work shares a kinship with the pale washed canvases Agnes Martin made in the late 1990s. The layers of paint on large areas of ground have been rubbed back into the canvas, creating a dry, shimmering quality and the natural world seeps in as an abstraction. Another thread can be drawn between Clayton Smith and Amy Sillman—consider, for example, Sillman’s Southstreet (2021) or Dubstamp (7A Back) (2018). Both painters share a preoccupation with the language of the image and the moment when form slips into abstraction. They both resist the delineation of depth into a navigable arrangement (foreground, middle ground, background) while also avoiding the seduction of the flat plane. Instead, they shift depth around and through the surface of the painting.

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