Claire Sherman’s landscapes make demands of the viewer. The scale of her paintings and the bravado of her chunky, loose brushwork ask for attention and the new work on view at Kavi Gupta Gallery is no exception. Sherman mines the genre conventions of landscape to produce scenes that teeter at the edge of the Romanticist sublime—a project whose conceptual ordinariness is overcome by painterly drama. In this, she is a true inheritor of the American landscape tradition—drawing from the epic canvases of the nineteenth-century Hudson River School while resisting the pastoralism that ultimately drove it out of fashion. Paintings such as “Rapids II” draw the viewer into a humid world of greens whose decomposed structure is defined by the brushy application of paint, not by an autonomous line. Though it’s hard to imagine Kant, Hegel or even Lyotard calling these paintings sublime, Sherman manages to make something beautiful: who can argue with that? (Rachel Furnari)
Through June 14 at Kavi Gupta Gallery, 835 W. Washington.